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Writing Advice > New Writer - Any Advice???

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message 1: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Creel | 4 comments Hey guys!

So I'm brand new to writing, but I'm hoping to some day publish my stuff (novels). Any advice to a newbie? Anything would be appreciated!!


message 2: by ☯Meera☯ (new)

 ☯Meera☯ (meeracle19) | 77 comments Don't let the muggles get you down!

message 3: by Amy (new)

Amy  | 8 comments 1. Learn how to write- it's quite different from writing papers. Your first manuscript will probably be mega messy, but keep going at it. :)
2. If you're a "seat of the pants" kind of writer, still study structure so you'll have it as a spring board for different ideas- you'll have to understand it while revising anyway.
3. Study your genre- for instance, if you're writing steampunk, read some steampunk as well as the genres surrounding it like fantasy, sci-fi, historical fiction, and classics.
4. Modify writer's advice to suit your own style and individual understanding- make sure you figure out why they're saying it, and decide whether or not it would work for you (you may have to do a few test runs, for instance, I had attempted to use the snowflake method twice until I figured out it didn't work for me).
5. Show don't tell, unless showing it would be mega boring for the reader or would pull the story down.
6. BEWARE OF CLICHES- make your own stories, use the cliches with a new spin, write something only you could write.
7. Let the words flow- it can be difficult at first.
8. If you have a sinking feeling that there's something wrong with your story, there probably is.

message 4: by Amy (new)

Amy  | 8 comments Actually, I may have tried snowflake method more than twice. I don't know.

message 5: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Creel | 4 comments Amy wrote: "Actually, I may have tried snowflake method more than twice. I don't know."

First, thank you so much for responding! I've always wanted to be a writer, ever since I was a little kid (I wrote my first 'story' when I was like, 10), and I really just want to get into the industry. But I'm honestly soooooo terrified because I have no idea what I'm doing and I'm not sure what I need to do in order to get my stuff out there.

message 6: by Amy (new)

Amy  | 8 comments Seriously, starting out just fiddle around. I've only written one (almost) full first draft, but (sorta) attempted a (sorta) few. Don't be afraid of messing up. That first manuscript I had written I don't even like very much, but I learned so much. From my experience, you'll still have a story you're eager to tell.

My favorite blogs/podcasts are:
Go Teen Writers
Helping Writers Become Authors
Live Write Thrive (She's very much an outliner and rule book kind of instructor- ye be warned/Very rarely contains language (usually/always quotes from books/movies))
Writing Excuses (Podcast) (Note: there are some with a bit of language/(somewhat) mature topics- most are pretty clean)
There's this blog by Janice Hardy (I think it's something along the lines of Fiction University) that I visit from time to time- you should check it out.
If you're interested in writing Christian speculative fiction- Speculative Faith (I think is the name) may have some info. (Heh, guess what genre I'm considering).

So yeah, there you go. :)

message 7: by Amy (new)

Amy  | 8 comments Also, DO NOT seek self publishing if you're just eager to get a book out. It's better to wait six years and publish a good book than to publish an early lousy one (I'm not saying it'll take you six years- how could I tell you that?) If you decide to self publish someday make sure you get it professionally edited and a professional book design, and looked over by your critique group (at the very least). Don't self publish a book if you want it to be traditionally published.
Moreover, be very careful when posting any work online. Most traditional publishers won't want to publish a book that is already available at all to the public (I think). Even if you're self publishing, it's best not to. You could accidentally give some of your rights to a website if it's in their privacy/user policy (I think). Generally, don't post it, unless you know that that's where you want it to be released.

Just a warning- not trying to scare you. :)

message 8: by Amy (new)

Amy  | 8 comments Don't do anything until you're pretty sure you know what you're doing.

message 9: by Amy (new)

Amy  | 8 comments Oh, and be leery of any "publishers" that make you pay for their services (Vanity presses). They're more interested in getting your money than releasing and selling your work (that's what I've read). They can really ruin your reputation. A true traditional publisher never (as far as I know) charges you for their services- they pay you.
Now with self publishing, I don't know too much about. Basically, you find your own editors and cover designers (beware of scammers/amateurs) pay them (and any other service you would need), and then when you're ready and have advertised your book, you publish it on a platform such as KDP (you'll loose ~30% profit from each sale). You're basically responsible for almost everything and you probably won't see your book in Barnes and Noble (unless it is a mega hit or the manager or whatever decides to shelve them after you negotiate- I'm not even sure if that's possible). It's sorta like you are the publisher- hence the name self publishing (although, you would have to invest a bit more to start your own publishing company, but I don't really know what I'm talking about now).

Heh, I've never published anything, but hopefully this is for the most part right.

message 10: by Amy (new)

Amy  | 8 comments Well, other than on WordPress. :p

message 11: by Sennett (new)

Sennett I haven't been around extremely long, but here's what I've gathered thus far.
1. Writing sites, blogs, and books are your new best friends. At least, they work for me. They discuss techniques and terms and tips and just generally make you feel like you know what you're doing.
2. First drafts and revision are two very different things that you might want to approach differently. I once read that the first draft is just "you telling yourself the story." Some writers rewrite the whole thing multiple times, so if draft #1 isn't perfect, don't worry. You have an infinite amount of attempts before you.
3. Write a little each day or just regularly. I'm in school, making this quite tough sometimes, but it is good to build a habit.
4. Expand your vocabulary at every opportunity.
5. NaNoWriMo might work for you. It's a challenge to write 50,000 words in one month and for some (including myself) it is an ideal way to increase word count and show yourself what you are really capable of.

message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Thumbs up on the NaNoWriMo idea. After the actual writing month they have what is called the 'What Now? Months' that's basically from December to October. They fill your email with things you can do to help you self edit, help you find and destroy those cringe worthy clichés, and even have webcams that you can join. e.g: Ask Editors. They help you get your book up and in some -not so rare- cases they even have publishers and agents that you can show your work too.

They want you to get your book out. Especially after writing a whole 50,000 words which is basically the size of the average novel. If you havent joined NaNoWriMo, its a good place to be, especially for the encouraging atmosphere they provide in November and in the What Now Months.

message 13: by Daleen (new)

Daleen | 1 comments Kuhlliope wrote: "Thumbs up on the NaNoWriMo idea. After the actual writing month they have what is called the 'What Now? Months' that's basically from December to October. They fill your email with things you can d..."

Camp Nano is also very helpful. Instead of writing an entire 50k word novel, you can cut it down or raise it higher to whatever you think you can do. They also use it for editing as well. I think they said if you're editing, one hour is 1,000 words or something like that. Instead of semi being on your own like the November Nano, you're in cabins with other writers here. I actually still keep up with the people I was in a cabin with last year. Either one, though, is an excellent writing tool.

message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

OH MY GOODNESS! Just as I was reading about your self publishing dream I got an email from, guess who, NaNoWriMo. They are having a Webcast about How to self publish a novel and how the things you need to know about. Asking an expert for advice. Just go to their youtube to be apart of it: National Novel Writing Month. It streams in 8 hours.

message 15: by Coralie (new)

Coralie (corkybookworm) | 386 comments Mod
Some great advice on here! Don't ever be afraid of feedback! That's my number one. Also, check out the topic I've started with professional advice to writers!!

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