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WRITERS' CORNER > General Writing Discussion

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message 1: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ | 2471 comments Mod
Hey guys! I'm happy to introduce the "Writers' Corner" for us writers in the group. :) Feel free to create any writing-related topics, but I thought I would start out with a general writing discussion thread where we can post about updates, accomplishments, frustrations, etc.


message 2: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ | 2471 comments Mod
So ... what're you guys working on nowadays? Those of you who did NaNo: are you going to continue your novel this month, or are you working on something else now?


message 3: by Tommy (new)

Tommy Hancock (tommyhancock) | 440 comments Current WIPs

Diary of a Reluctant Teen Monster Hunter - An ordinary 16 year old boy finds out that, not only has his grandmother passed away, but he's inherited something from her: A responsibility and the power to carry it out.

Untitle(working title 'Dead Kid') - A young boy and girl meet after their tragic deaths and venture through the Afterlife in search of their loved ones, some who have died as well, and one who is still among the living.

I have more, but those are the two I'm actively working on.


message 4: by Ashley Marie (new)

Ashley Marie I need to continue with my novel until I find some way to wrap it up, then leave it alone for a few months and come back to edit. I've actually never finished a novel rough draft before. Otherwise I don't have a lot in mind aside from (for next year) maybe going back and redoing an old idea I already attempted, I've seen people on NaNo do that, or work on a new one--

I had an idea a few years ago (it stemmed from the WarriorCats books, if you're familiar with those) but I've always loved big cats and wolves/foxes/etc. So this idea pits big cats & dogs against each other on a Pangaea-esque continent where animals are the only things that exist on the planet. No people to get in the way. Still working on a decent plot for that one.

Another idea I have involves a family where the parents travel a lot and they name their kids after cities -- past that I don't really have a story for it yet.


message 5: by Elora (new)

Elora Mitchell | 578 comments @ Tommy: the dead girl and boy one sounds quite interesting.

@Ashley: My niece loves! the warrior cat novels. :)

I'm reworking a novel right now. I was in the middle of my first revision when I decided I couldn't handle my character's POV. So I'm scrapping first person and doing a third person, two people POV and am loving it so far. It's a steampunk/adventure. My last novel was a wee bit on the dark side so I tried keeping this one a bit light--it's not working. Maybe that's my niche?? :)

I'm also in the planning stages of a fight club book and a kids book (which my kids are begging me to write) :)

A few other things are on the back burner right now.....


message 6: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ | 2471 comments Mod
Whoa, sounds like you guys are all working on really cool stuff. :D

As for me ... I'm working on three novels right now:

I Chose the Monster (YA Sci-fi) Two young women try to survive the zombie apocalypse together.

The Waters and the Wild (YA Historical Fantasy) During the potato famine of 1846, a girl finds herself torn between a fantasy world and the harshness of reality.

The Resurrectionists (YA Historical Fantasy) In 18th century England, a group of teenagers agree to steal corpses for an anatomist––not knowing they’ve involved themselves in a dangerous web of experiments and demonic possession.

Right now I Chose the Monster is my main focus (I've been working on the first draft for like three years now GAHHH!). The other two are kind of on hold for now, but I'm still doing planning/research for them. :P


message 7: by Elora (new)

Elora Mitchell | 578 comments @Brigid...how do you have titles already?!
My first one came fast but i can't seem to settle on any for what I'm working on


message 8: by Elora (new)

Elora Mitchell | 578 comments Do you guys ever struggle with this--
Some days I can't wait to sit down and write at my laptop, so I get all my work done as quickly as I can. When I finally have the time, it's become such a huge thing that I can't make myself sit down and write....


message 9: by Ashley Marie (new)

Ashley Marie ALL THE TIME, Elora!


message 10: by Elora (new)

Elora Mitchell | 578 comments Oh good, I thought it was just me--I'm liking this thread! :)


message 11: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ | 2471 comments Mod
Haha I'm weird about titles, Elora ... I always have to choose one before I even start writing. I guess they're "working titles" since I can always choose something else if it seems more fitting, but I at least like to have some kind of placeholder. :D

And I totally get what you mean. I try to give myself time to write every day, and I'll be all excited to sit down and write and then ... nothing. :P I've found that it helps me to just jot down a few notes first because that makes it seem less intimidating. I have a document where I just write down random notes before I start working––just some thoughts about the scene I'm working on, if it's going well, if I'm frustrated with it, etc. I think it helps to get some of those worries and frustrations out of the way first so I can just write, if that makes sense.


message 12: by Elora (new)

Elora Mitchell | 578 comments Thanks for the ideas, Brigid. That sounds like a great way to warm up the brain. I never would have thought of writing down what's frustrating me--I'm so going to try it :)


message 13: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ | 2471 comments Mod
Cool, let me know how it goes. :D


message 14: by Elora (new)

Elora Mitchell | 578 comments You have mad skills, Brigid. Twice now my laptop has been the insurmountable mountain, and I just sat down and started writing down my characters or thinking about what I didn't like about the scene and lightbulb! within a few minutes, I was plugging along. :)


message 15: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ | 2471 comments Mod
Elora wrote: "You have mad skills, Brigid. Twice now my laptop has been the insurmountable mountain, and I just sat down and started writing down my characters or thinking about what I didn't like about the scen..."

Wow, I'm so glad to hear that, Elora!!


message 16: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ | 2471 comments Mod
Yesterday I wrote for the first time since NaNo ended! (I've gone back to working on the novel I was working on before November.) I feel a little burnt out after NaNo ... I'm trying to kind of take it slow, but also I really want to finish up this first draft because it's been taking me AGES. Plus I'm kind of stuck between two plot points, but maybe I'll just skip the part I don't know and get back to it later. :P


message 17: by Ashley Marie (new)

Ashley Marie Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!* wrote: "Yesterday I wrote for the first time since NaNo ended! (I've gone back to working on the novel I was working on before November.) I feel a little burnt out after NaNo ... I'm trying to kind of take..."

I still need to get back to wrapping my NaNo project up, I was burnt out AF after November ended and the novel still isn't at a good stopping place (of course it's complete crap anyway bc it's a first draft but whatever).


message 18: by Elora (new)

Elora Mitchell | 578 comments Brigid, glad to hear you were able to write some! I can't imagine writing that many words in one month!

Ashley, everybody's first draft is complete crap so don't worry! At least you put something on paper! :)


message 19: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ | 2471 comments Mod
Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten* wrote: "Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!* wrote: "Yesterday I wrote for the first time since NaNo ended! (I've gone back to working on the novel I was working on before November.) I feel a little burnt out after..."

Haha I can't even look at my NaNo project right now. I don't think I'll work on it again for at least another month or two.


message 20: by Elora (new)

Elora Mitchell | 578 comments You know, it makes me feel really good to hear that....that I'm not the only one. I get it into my head that "real" authors don't struggle with their work and they have a magic ability to push past frustrations.
Hopefully some time away from your project will give you fresh eyes :)


message 21: by Ashley Marie (new)

Ashley Marie Elora wrote: "You know, it makes me feel really good to hear that....that I'm not the only one. I get it into my head that "real" authors don't struggle with their work and they have a magic ability to push past..."

Amen to that!


message 22: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ | 2471 comments Mod
Elora wrote: "You know, it makes me feel really good to hear that....that I'm not the only one. I get it into my head that "real" authors don't struggle with their work and they have a magic ability to push past..."

It is comforting to know! In fact, I'd say it's a good sign if you struggle with confidence in your work; it means that you're open to criticism and change, and that's how you improve. If you thought your writing was flawless, you would never get better at it. I also frequently remind myself that many famous authors are/were hard on themselves, and some even have tried to destroy works that later became classics. For example, Harper Lee once literally threw a draft of To Kill a Mockingbird out the window! As far as I know, most of the world's best authors are the ones who struggle the most and work the hardest. It's just like with any other skill––when you pull it off it seems flawless, but it takes years and years of practice. :)


message 23: by Tommy (new)

Tommy Hancock (tommyhancock) | 440 comments "Don’t get discouraged because there’s a lot of mechanical work to writing. There is, and you can’t get out of it. I rewrote the first part of A Farewell to Arms at least fifty times. You’ve got to work it over. The first draft of anything is sh*t. When you first start to write you get all the kick and the reader gets none, but after you learn to work it’s your object to convey everything to the reader so that he remembers it not as a story he had read but something that happened to himself."

- Ernest Hemingway


message 24: by Ashley Marie (new)

Ashley Marie I despise Hemingway's work, but he's got good things to say.


message 25: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ | 2471 comments Mod
"The first draft of anything is sh*t." - Haha, one of my high school English teachers always said that. Honestly it kind of changed my life. :D


message 26: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ | 2471 comments Mod
Hey, I hope you guys are all having a great holiday season! Anyone trying to squeeze in some writing? :D I've been busy with a lot of stuff, but I actually wrote a lot last week ... trying to finish up the first draft of my zombie apocalypse book. :)

Anyway, I was wondering: would you guys be interested in having individual topics in this folder to talk about our goals, progress, etc. (kind of like how a bunch of us have personal "reading goals" topics, only it would be for writing)? I know Tommy did a similar thing this year and I've been thinking I might try it for 2016––I have a bunch of writing goals I'd like to keep track of! So, thoughts?


message 27: by Elora (new)

Elora Mitchell | 578 comments That's awesome you've been able to write! I've been so busy lately that I'm too tired to even attempt it by the time evening hits.
Having folders for writing goals sounds like an awesome idea. Not only fun but a way to help keep us on track. :)

P.S. Will we get to beta read or ARC your zombie novel?


message 28: by Elora (new)

Elora Mitchell | 578 comments *topics not folders.


message 29: by Ashley Marie (new)

Ashley Marie Sure, I like the idea of separate topics :) I need to write, I've been so distracted lately and the flower/city children's family is calling to me.

I want to read the zombie book! And I'm not usually a zombie fan ;)


message 30: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ | 2471 comments Mod
Cool! I think that will be a fun way to learn more about each other's projects. :D And yes of course you guys can read my book––I will definitely need the feedback! I hope I will get to beta-read your work as well. :)


message 31: by Tommy (new)

Tommy Hancock (tommyhancock) | 440 comments My writing has been crud lately haha. When I have any time to write it's felt so forced that I didn't want to apply it to anything official, so I just have some free write stuff that I might dig through for ideas later. I've been working more hours to save up for a big move which will be happening in less than a week now. Once it does happen 1. I will have LOTS of more free time to write, but, sadly, won't be able to get on here and chat it up as often haha.

I love the idea of personal folders, though. It will leave my personal book challenges folder a lot cleaner if nothing else haha.

It would be cool if we could do something like a "looking for beta reader" thread(or maybe threads?), if you life the idea. I'd certainly love beta readers and would like to read and play some itsy bitsy part in helping with some of your guys' books :)


message 32: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ | 2471 comments Mod
I know the feeling. Sometimes it feels like I'm just forcing out the words and it's all totally meaningless. :P But I try to remind myself that I can edit it later. Sometimes you have to push yourself through a crappy first draft to understand what you really want to do. Also, good luck with the move!

Great, I'm glad you guys like that idea. I will probably make a topic for myself within the next few days once I have a more solid plan for my 2016 writing goals. :D But you guys can go ahead and make topics if you're ready!

And thanks for the suggestion, I like that idea! My only concern is that a lot of authors spam groups asking for betas/reviews, so maybe we'd just have to have some kind of rule ... like you have to have made a certain amount of comments in the group first before you ask for betas or something.


message 33: by Elora (new)

Elora Mitchell | 578 comments I don't know about you guys, but I've appreciated the investment we made in each other....
I won't beta read for just anybody and really don't want random people beta reading my work....so burying a beta read request in just one of my topic posts would be fine for me (without needing a specific beta read topic).


message 34: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ | 2471 comments Mod
Hmm yeah, I kinda feel the same way, Elora. Maybe we should just request betas in this topic or in our personal topics, but we can always try a beta request topic if that doesn't work out for any reason!


message 35: by Tommy (new)

Tommy Hancock (tommyhancock) | 440 comments That makes sense. My line of thinking was that if there was a thread for it it would make it easier for us at a glance to see who needed beta readers and what their story was about. It does make it more inviting for spammers. And unless the random person is a professional, I'm much more comfortable having my stuff criticized, and criticizing the work of, people who I've spent some time with in the group already :)


message 36: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ | 2471 comments Mod
Yeah I see how it could be convenient, but it could also end up being a lot of spam. And since (at least for now) it's mostly just the four of us talking about writing, hopefully if any of us requested betas in this thread (or elsewhere in this folder) it wouldn't get buried under too many posts. :D


message 37: by Elora (new)

Elora Mitchell | 578 comments Hi guys! Any ideas?? I'm trying to get a bigger picture of my book as I'm editing. I really really don't want to do an outline (that was my most absolutely hated thing in high school), but I think I'm gonna have to.....do you guys use any methods that work well?


message 38: by Ashley Marie (new)

Ashley Marie I've got a bit more written for mine (they still haven't met any critters yet, they're en route to France as we speak), I just need to find the time to type it all up and get it posted! I'm crazy busy right now between upkeep on the house (we just finished painting the kitchen and moved on to the bathroom, not to mention the regular chores of grocery shopping and cleaning the litter box), working two back-to-back shows at the theatre which are starting to overlap just now (wtf was I thinking, stage-managing one and designing props for the other), plus trying to keep up with all my BRs and other reads.

It's always percolating in the back of my mind though!


message 39: by Tommy (new)

Tommy Hancock (tommyhancock) | 440 comments I don't really like to outline either, so what I've been doing is a kind of same time deal with writing and outlining.

I write down the scenes/characters I know I want in the story and flesh them out a little bit. After that, depending on my mood, I either start outlining or start writing the first draft. Whenever I start to get stuck on the writing, I go back and outline until I get stuck and vice versa. The two different ways of thinking usually help me come up with more ideas and help me out of binds faster than if I forced myself to do one or the other front to back. Might be worth a try.


message 40: by Elora (new)

Elora Mitchell | 578 comments Thanks, Tommy. I'll give it a try. Glad to know I'm not the only one who thinks outlining is a beast. :)


message 41: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ | 2471 comments Mod
I used to force myself to outline my whole story, but in the past year or so I've stopped doing that––I feel like it kind of takes the fun/spontaneity out of the story before I even start it. So with more recent projects, I've been doing pretty much exactly what Tommy said: I just start writing, and if I get stuck, I outline a couple chapters and keep writing. So it's kind of switching back and forth between writing and outlining. That way, I sort of have a plan, but I'm also letting the story kind of "shape itself" as I go. :)


message 42: by Tommy (new)

Tommy Hancock (tommyhancock) | 440 comments Elora wrote: "Thanks, Tommy. I'll give it a try. Glad to know I'm not the only one who thinks outlining is a beast. :)"

I really hope it helps. Outlining is kind of great, as long as I use it as a tool/guide. Writing it all out in advance is just so hard for me because there are certain things that only happen for me when I'm super close up in a scene with the characters.
I guess that's how I see it. Distance/broad strokes vs. Up close/details. Outlining is like being in a blimp looking down at the football field, writing is like being the quarterback. They both show me different things depending on when I need them.

Also, I like similes.


message 43: by Elora (new)

Elora Mitchell | 578 comments You guys are awesome...... :)


message 44: by Ashley Marie (new)

Ashley Marie Tommy wrote: "Also, I like similes."

Those ones are perfect too!


message 45: by Ashley Marie (new)

Ashley Marie Okay so I jumped back to the mermaid story (my 2015 NaNo project) and I'm doing edits/revisions now... still trying to figure out Scrivener's formatting as I go, but I'm glad to be making progress! Figured out an ending last night so I know where to cut off and transition into a second book/story, but I really just need to implement that ending and reread it (again), and fix a few things. If anyone would be interested in beta reading a story about killer mermaids, hit me up :)


message 46: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ | 2471 comments Mod
Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten* wrote: "Okay so I jumped back to the mermaid story (my 2015 NaNo project) and I'm doing edits/revisions now... still trying to figure out Scrivener's formatting as I go, but I'm glad to be making progress!..."

That's awesome, Ashley! Glad to hear you are making some good progress. :D I would be happy to beta-read, but I should probably warn you I tend to be a little slow with betas, haha. Also would you be looking for general feedback or line-by-line feedback?


message 47: by Ashley Marie (new)

Ashley Marie Just general feedback, for the time being -- does everything flow, does it make sense, is anything confusing, continuity errors, etc.


message 48: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ | 2471 comments Mod
Ah okay. :D Yeah, I would love to take a look at it!


message 49: by Elora (new)

Elora Mitchell | 578 comments I'll bite (pun partially intended)! :)


message 50: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ | 2471 comments Mod
LOL Elora. :D


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