World, Writing, Wealth discussion

121 views
Storytelling and Writing Craft > Storytelling and Writing Craft Book Reads

Comments Showing 1-50 of 74 (74 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Hi all,

The purpose of this folder is to bring together and share our collective experiences and (hopefully) wisdom with regard to the craft and techniques of writing stories.

I will,

[1] Create a thread and pin it near the top of this folder to capture any books that anyone wants to discuss.

[2] Books that are being read can be pulled out into multiple threads to deal with specific chapters and techniques on their own.

[3] Writing techniques can be provided with a thread without a specific book reference

[4] Buddy reads of craft books will be supported within this folder.

[5] Members are invited to submit any snippet of their own work where it is relevant to a discussion for group feedback.

I always love talking about our craft, and hope many here will join in.


message 2: by Afiena (new)

Afiena Kamminga | 3 comments sort of like a writers' group on line?


message 3: by Stefan (new)

Stefan Vucak | 9 comments Hi Graeme,

Thanks for getting in touch. Having been in the writing and publishing business for some time, I am always prepared to share my experiences with other authors, and helping some get their works formatted/published, and avoid traps for the unwary.

I have followed your link to nominate a book, which I did, nominating my own collection of articles on writing, editing, publishing, getting an agent, etc. ‘Writing Tips for Authors’, available on Amazon and Smashwords.

Regards,

Stefan Vučak

Website: www.stefanvucak.com


message 4: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Afiena wrote: "sort of like a writers' group on line?"

Yeah, pretty much exactly that.


message 5: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Stefan wrote: "Hi Graeme,

Thanks for getting in touch. Having been in the writing and publishing business for some time, I am always prepared to share my experiences with other authors, and helping some get thei..."


Thanks Stefan.


message 6: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11773 comments An interesting concept, Graeme. Perhaps a little like a writers' group? I shall watch put and see what happens.


message 7: by odedo1 (new)

odedo1 Audio book worm.  | 3 comments So are we all going to create a group on WhatsApp?
Ok never mind but what genre of stories are we talking about?


message 8: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Hi odedo1, any genre.

The point is we can focus on techniques. I suspect there are very few genre specific techniques. Genre specific 'conventions,' absolutely.

The bottom line is to share our experiences and methods, in the context of specific themes (just to stay organised) and see what we can learn from each other and what we can share with each other.

I have a personal preference for fantasy, sci-fi, and thrillers, but the conversations are bound to be broader than those genres.


message 9: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Hi Ian, no problem, I think you'll find some interesting topics, and I'm sure you'll have some valuable experiences to share.


message 10: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan P.s. odedo1 - you have an interesting background.


message 11: by P.K. (last edited May 12, 2018 10:19PM) (new)

P.K. Davies | 358 comments I'm always up for better understanding anything, Graeme. I have read a few books on playwriting, novel writing and screenwriting but none of them were memorable. I did find some blogs on e-writing very useful when learning to format etc. I wonder if we are going to run out of books or get bored with them copying each other? I think personal experiences of writing, formatting, editing and selling should keep us sufficiently busy. Let's go for it.
I agree with your comment to odedo1. He's got a lot to tell us.


message 12: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Thanks P.K. Wise words.


message 13: by Denise (last edited May 13, 2018 02:06AM) (new)

Denise Baer Sounds good, Graeme. I always like learning more about the craft, offering my own experience, and hope to start publishing some of my writings on my blog next year.


message 14: by odedo1 (new)

odedo1 Audio book worm.  | 3 comments Ok
Just started ‘ The god of the labyrinth ‘. By Colin Wilson .
This is new for me, I’ve never read a book like that of this genre but I was asked from the author to review it so here I am with a crazy book which might turn into a masterpiece ( 4 stars average is a statement ).
I really just began so nothing to report yet.


message 15: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Hi Denise Cool.


message 16: by Graeme (last edited May 13, 2018 02:32AM) (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Hi odedo1, it's cool your reading a book, however as per the post at the top of the thread we are aiming to "bring together and share our collective experiences and (hopefully) wisdom with regard to the craft and techniques of writing stories."

With the focus being on the craft and technique of storytelling and writing.

What's going to happen is that we will pick some books (typically how to books) and read through them as a group with the view to examine the ideas proposed in those books in detail.

This is not a forum where I expect we will look at actual novels. The best place to seek a buddy read on this group is under the "book and film discussions," folder at https://www.goodreads.com/topic/group...

Good luck with your read.


message 17: by odedo1 (new)

odedo1 Audio book worm.  | 3 comments The reason I mentioned that book is because of the craft, the way of this writer is deciding, why, how and more to write that book is right from the beginning even technics.
It’s kind of weird, I’ve never seen it done before and I thought you guys might be interested.

So I’ll be quite sit aside and watch you guys to get a better understanding of what exactly or how you plan on doing this.


message 18: by Dan (new)

Dan Petrosini | 1 comments Let's see what develops here!


message 19: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Thanks odedo1, that's cool. What your suggesting is technical critique, where we would examine a specific novel and pull it apart to examine the inner workings.

You've given me an idea, because we could do that, however I'd like to work up a set of questions first with the group to provide a framework around the activity.


message 20: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Welcome aboard Dan.


message 21: by Eldon (new)

Eldon Farrell | 704 comments Commendable idea you have here Graeme! I'll endeavour to contribute where I can.


message 22: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Thanks Eldon. I thought it would suit this group, and it will be a lot of fun too.


Master Melvin M.  Lusterio (aionheaven) | 9 comments Nice posts, thanks for sharing!


message 24: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Hi Master, still to start. :-).


message 25: by P.K. (new)

P.K. Davies | 358 comments odedo1 wrote: "Ok
Just started ‘ The god of the labyrinth ‘. By Colin Wilson .
This is new for me, I’ve never read a book like that of this genre but I was asked from the author to review it so here I am with a c..."



message 26: by P.K. (new)

P.K. Davies | 358 comments I presume that is not the Colin Wilson of The Outsider fame? He died a few years ago so I should be very interested if you are in touch


message 27: by P.K. (new)

P.K. Davies | 358 comments The silence is now deafening on this thread. Are we waiting for a whistle? OK, I'll blow.
In the beginning is - the beginning. I like to repeat to myself, before starting on a new project, the old phrase; Once upon a Time...
Here is a quote from an old encyclopedia:
'The Novel. When an author sits down to write a novel, what is he attempting to do? Broadly speaking, his intention is to invent a certain sequence of events in the lives of certain imaginary people, and record them in such a way as to create in the minds of those who read of them the illusion that the people are real and that events really happened...... The things the imaginary characters do and the things that happen to them together form some kind of story. On the other hand - and in this the novel differs from reality - there must be a beginning and an end, and therefore some sort of shape, plan, or design in the writer's mind; and this gives to a novel the distinctive element which is called its plot.'
Anyone else wanting to play?


message 28: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11773 comments Just to throw a thought into the works, P.K., what is the beginning? I am thinking of starting a novel, and probably will when I get a couple of other projects that are more scientific off my plate, so I have some perspective on this question.

So, what is the beginning? I am well short of actual writing. I have some scenes in my mind, something that could end up as the theme, and I have decided what the story will be about. I have about six characters in mind, but they are still somewhat ill-defined, although three will have to face their crises, in which they may change, or bring out character they did not now they had. But before that, they are still a bit flexible. I have one scene in mind that might qualify as a start because it announces fairly clearly what the book is about, but whether it will qualify as a hook is another matter, and at least one thing should have happened before. That can be inserted as a flash-back, but do I want to do that? More concerning, I still have no real idea how it should end.

Have I actually started? Does anyone else work like this? If not, how? If so, what is the recommended next step?


message 29: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Hi P.K, Ian, would you like me to open a new thread on plot structure, or possibly a broader topic? (Although any topic is likely to range, and plot structure is broad anyway....)

The two current activities underway is the read/analysis of "Story," by Robert McKee to start on the 10th of June, and the selection of a 2nd book to read/analyse also beginning on the 10th of June as "Story," isn't on Kindle.


message 30: by P.K. (new)

P.K. Davies | 358 comments Hi Ian. You sound like a suitable case for treatment. I would be pleased to try to help. You are at a very important stage where talking it through before you start to write would be wise. If you want to do it on a one-to-one basis we could. But if other people want to be involved then Graemes idea might also help you.
Graeme, I thought you were having a re-think about McKee because the book isn't on Kindle and I don't know how many people will want to shell out the Paperback price. It will also take time for deliveries.
Let me know guys. I'm going to bed. We are in different hemispheres.


message 31: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11773 comments Hi Graeme and P.K., and anyone else interested. If we want to start a separate thread that's fine by me. I posted the above because I thought it might be a topic for discussion, and something that others might benefit from, so Graeme, this is your group, so to speak, so you do what you feel like doing :-)

I am not going to buy "Story" by Robert McKee. It is largely, I gather, about screenplays, and actually I have participated in a screenplay with a Hollywood producer and writer that did some serious series. In the end, it came to nothing, because making a movie required too many millions.


message 32: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Hi everyone, if you want to create brand new threads in this folder, feel free to do so.

But, please keep to the overall topic of "writing techniques."

It's perfectly OK to create threads to workshop your own material - that in fact, is fully aligned with the spirit of the folder - which is for us to come together to assist each other become better at our craft.


message 33: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Apologies all, I've been caught up with Work and Family over the last two weeks.


message 34: by Grasshopper (new)

Grasshopper Bot (daisyking) | 9 comments Join our group in its annual writing competition. Selected short stories will be included in our group's publication. Earlier works include:
The Golden Years
Goodreads Best Short Stories 2019
Goodreads Best Poems 2020
https://www.goodreads.com/event/show/...


message 35: by P.K. (new)

P.K. Davies | 358 comments Grasshopper's post brought me back to this thread like a once remembered favourite song. Whatever happened to those grand intentions? Did Ian start his novel, or is he still looking for the beginning? Goodreads is a very nice way to waste one's time but it is supposed to be about writing - for writers. There doesn't seem to be much of that about. Is it not possible if, for instance, Ian posted his attempt to begin a novel that we could all tune-in and say what we thought about it in a productive manner? Sometimes such input is essential. I once took a radio play to a writing group because I had asbsolutely no idea if the poetry/prose of a particular part was crap or otherwise. It was very helpful to get opinions outside of my own head.


message 36: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11773 comments Since I have been mentioned specifically, yes, not only did I start it but now I am in the messy part of revising a finished draft. If anyone wants to see a chapter or so, they are welcome.


message 37: by P.K. (new)

P.K. Davies | 358 comments Why not post the first few pages to see if we like the beginning?


message 38: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11773 comments P.K. wrote: "Why not post the first few pages to see if we like the beginning?"

I posted chapter 1 in an Inkshares competition, so you can read it here (assuming it is still alive) Since then I have made the odd change, partly through response to comments, but this will give you some idea: https://www.inkshares.com/books/spoli...


message 39: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan P.K. wrote: "Grasshopper's post brought me back to this thread like a once remembered favourite song. Whatever happened to those grand intentions? Did Ian start his novel, or is he still looking for the beginni..."

Indeed, P.K. The 'intentions,' of mice and men...


message 40: by P.K. (new)

P.K. Davies | 358 comments Ian wrote: "P.K. wrote: "Why not post the first few pages to see if we like the beginning?"

I posted chapter 1 in an Inkshares competition, so you can read it here (assuming it is still alive) Since then I ha..."


Read it, Ian. Did you want input and if so how best to post it?


message 41: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11773 comments I am always interested in input. Do it however you like, or if you want it private simply email me :-)


message 42: by P.K. (new)

P.K. Davies | 358 comments Ian wrote: "I am always interested in input. Do it however you like, or if you want it private simply email me :-)"

Could only find a website add, no email for you.
Congratulations ; you got a beginning:
'Once upon a time... 'A space shuttle on the way to a space station gets into trouble when docking and does a lot of damage. The skipper knows it was an engine fault but he's afraid his superiors will try to blame him. He's not wrong. Unfortunately, his co-pilot is relatively inexperienced and will easily be pressured into saying what the corporation want to hear. The skipper is on his own and will have to prove his innocence.'
The scenario is interesting but it didn't give me a long view of where it would go for the length of a book. I guess this was also a draft to get the story going and you will do some copy-editing? You have written a lot of books so there's nothing I need add. Good luck.


message 43: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11773 comments My website
http://www.ianmiller.co.nz
gives a means of contact. (It also collects a lot of spam :-( )

No, it does not give a long view of where it is going. The next chapter is the court case, where he ends up more or less unemployed. The purpose of these two chapters is to introduce four important characters (only 3 in chapter 1) and to set up initial relationships between them.

Thanks for the "good luck" wishes - generally, indie authors need it


message 44: by [deleted user] (new)

I’ve been active on goodreads since last August and have had a mixed experience.

As a reader, it has been superb. I’ve discovered 2 excellent authors whom I would probably never have come across otherwise – Malcolm Wardlaw and Adrian Deans.

Malcolm is an independent author and his 5-book dystopian series, ‘Sovereigns of the Collapse’, are amongst the best books I’ve ever read. Here’s the first one:

Death by Decent Society

I know Adrian is a member of this group, and I have no hesitation in recommending his ‘Welcome to Ord City’ too:

Welcome to Ord City

He’s got a very interesting back catalogue as well, which I’ll be delving into in due course.

Also, although I’d heard of Maigret, I’d never actually read any of Simenon’s books until a goodreads member recommended them. I’m glad he did because I’ve now got about 7 under my belt and I know I’m going to have a lifelong love affair with them.

However, as a new writer, although it’s still quite early days, I’ve been very disappointed with the goodreads experience. There are obviously a lot of other authors out there (mainly lesser-known conventionally published and independents), so the competition is high, but the reviewers all seem to have to-read lists that would last most people fifty years. When will they ever get through them?

The contrast with Amazon is incredible. On goodreads, I’ve tried hard to plug my books with absolutely zero success other than reviewers adding them to their extensive to-read lists. Yet, on Amazon, with no marketing, whatsoever, I have a handful of ratings/ reviews. Doesn’t Amazon own goodreads? Have all the active reviewers left goodreads to do their own thing on Amazon?

On the off-chance there are still some people reviewing indie books here, I’ve put mine on Amazon as freebies from tomorrow until Wednesday.

The first is a novella and quirky psychological thriller:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mistaken-Ide...

The second is a novel and dystopian thriller:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thirty-Years...

Although I’m proud of both of my books, I’m not immune to criticism. It would be great to get some feedback (any feedback!) from more than the handful of people who have stumbled upon them through Amazon. How can new writers, who are not willing to pay for feedback, progress and learn their craft in today's market?


message 45: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11773 comments Beau, there are a huge number of writers out there, something like a million so getting discovered is a problem.

As for reviews, they lie in writers' hands as well. The reason it is hard to get reviews is that very few do it, so they get a backlog. I review over 50 ebooks a year for indies; I write and publish no more than one a year. Now if every one did that for others, all writers would get over fifty reviews a year. But they don't.


message 46: by P.K. (new)

P.K. Davies | 358 comments Beau wrote: "I’ve been active on goodreads since last August and have had a mixed experience.

As a reader, it has been superb. I’ve discovered 2 excellent authors whom I would probably never have come across o..."


We all know the feelings, Beau. The good news for you is that, if you got reviews on Amazon someone bought it. I've been here five years and never had a sniff of anyone for my book. I even had it on a freebie recently hoping to gender some interest before uploading my next one but not one sniff. Like political analysis, trying to understand anonymous minds is mostly a wasted exercise. One guess as to why people in our groups don't read each other more is maybe because they have tried it and been unlucky, unlike you, to have found books that are poorly
written, never edited and generally rushed into print before any rewriting has been done. But it is so easy to taste the book on Amazon and read two chapters, One can judge a book well on that (the importance of a good beginning as discussed with Ian). For instance, I just did that with Nik's latest and because of that I am ordering it. He had a very good beginning - and did something I have not come across before; he mixed first person with third person writing; congratulations, Nik. The other factor that lead me to this conclusion is obvious in another group Thriller, Mystery. There, almost all the group are readers and not writers but they never seem to read Goodread authors. They seem to get all their books from one source, that requires at least 20 four-star reviews before they will list your book. Yet all they have to do is read those first two chapters; it doesn't cost anything. I don't know what the answer is. Was it in this group that we once tried a group read of each other's books? But even that didn't work because it was based on a majoritive choice which was made only on a description of the book rather than a two-chapter sample. So, in summary, being on Goodreads is of no use apart from having very pleasant discourse with people like yourself.
But I am going to take advantage of your freebies as soon as I fire up my notebook so I can read them at leisure.


message 47: by [deleted user] (new)

P.K. wrote: "Beau wrote: "I’ve been active on goodreads since last August and have had a mixed experience.

As a reader, it has been superb. I’ve discovered 2 excellent authors whom I would probably never have ..."


Thanks, PK. Last night I purchased the first in Nik's Oligarch series and I've just bought your own book, 'Getting Tyson', too. I'll read Nik's first, then yours and post reviews on Amazon and goodreads once I’ve finished them. I’m looking forward to reading both :)

On the Amazon reviews, I can't say for certain, but judging by the graphs Amazon shows regarding times of sale, I'm pretty sure that at least 2 of mine came from past freebie promotions. This is when I have made most ‘sales’. It’s obviously great to get reviews any way you can, because they provide feedback, but the freebies don’t count towards the books’ chart rankings so they still remain obscure. Anyway, I think my paid royalties might have bought me a pint (maybe 2) of beer so the effort was worth it lol.

By the way, it's always a pleasure talking to you too.


message 48: by P.K. (new)

P.K. Davies | 358 comments Beau wrote: "P.K. wrote: "Beau wrote: "I’ve been active on goodreads since last August and have had a mixed experience.

As a reader, it has been superb. I’ve discovered 2 excellent authors whom I would probabl..."


Thanks for the support, Beau. I hope I didn't come across as Oliver Twist. But what you are saying is good copy for everyone reading this group. Personal recommendations are the best way to promote each other without giving false reviews. At least, as I was saying above, it encourages people to have a look at authors
as a first step. I'm not sure about series; I find it a bit difficult to find the time to read and write so I have always been a bit
reluctant to go down that route. And, although I understand the temptation to keep writing about a great character once created I think there is a danger of being restricted by them - ie. Jack Reacher. Personally I need a bit of new inspiration to write. Happy reading - and writing.


message 49: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11773 comments Beau, my view is a freebie is not a sale, and I gave up on them. I once offered one book free and got hundreds of downloads, but no review and no subsequent sales. (I gather Amazon did not count freebies as sales either.) I got the impression that a lot of people were merely downloading and never even reading.

I am unclear about the merit of a series, not the least because I may have gone about it the wrong way once. Leaving aside a student-days effort, the first thing I wrote was a fairly long book with a big backstory. The premise was that the humanity was "accidentally destroyed" in the 25th century but a "temporal satellite" was left, and they could send messages to the past and arrange help. It didn't quite work out well, and in the 24th century a bunch of aliens arrived and tried to help some lot take over, and the story was how this was avoided. So, with a huge backstory, I wrote a "trilogy". Now see what happened? I self-published my trilogy before I published why I wrote it, so the series of five starts with a trilogy. Real clumsy of me, that one.

However, for me, the whole idea of a series is that each book in it must have its own story, but they are connected. Otherwise, like Jack Reacher, there is a danger of writing the same story over and over again with only the location and the sub-characters changed. On the other hand, I suppose Reacher sells hugely, while all I manage is pocket money


message 50: by [deleted user] (new)

Ian, I read the excerpt of your book on Inkshares and really enjoyed it. In fact, it’s given me a taste to read more. This is no mean feat for you as science fiction is not really my thing. Even the great ‘Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy’ was a DNF for me on the 2 attempts I made to read it.

As you’ve written more books than me, I don’t really feel that I’m in a position to advise you on anything but I do think that the section about the docking mishap would make a great opening to the chapter (with the previous information dropped in slightly later). It was exciting stuff. If a potential reader viewed this on Amazon, they would instantly be hooked in and probably buy your book.

Btw, you made some interesting observations in your last post. Your first effort with the backstory sounds like a great concept. Thanks for sharing it.


« previous 1
back to top