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message 1: by ★ Jess (last edited Aug 27, 2011 09:44AM) (new)

★ Jess  | 3071 comments Okay, so when Im older I would LOVE to be a professional writer. You know, New York Times Bestseller, movie adaption, apartments in London and Sydney, it'd be more then nice :)
Im kidding, as long as I see one of my 'creations' on a bookshelf, I will be happy.
The only way to do this is to actually finish a manuscript...which I have a few problems doing.
Ive started COUNTLESS novels, but never ever finished.
My challenge for myself is this:
FINISH A MANUSCRIPT BEFORE DECEMBER 31.
It doesnt have to be edited, but it must be completely finished, and I must be pleased with the result.
I wont be sending it into publishers, this is just for my own, personal confidence :)



WISH ME LUCK!!!!


message 2: by Laura (new)

Laura | 4299 comments Oooohhh..Nice! Good luck on getting that manuscript out :D


message 3: by Angela (new)

Angela (dilaby) ★ Jessica ★ wrote: "Okay, so when Im older I would LOVE to be a professional writer. You know, New York Times Bestseller, movie adaption, apartments in London and Sydney, it'd be more then nice :)
Im kidding, as long..."


Excellent Jessica. I plan to do the same. I attempted my first book last year getting up to Chapter 26 before i froze in my writing. I will eventually return to that one and start from the beginning editing here and there and finishing it but have started a new one this year. I plan to have it all written before the end of the year, hopefully before. :) I wish us both luck. :D


message 4: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 70504 comments Mod
Good luck Jessica...keep us posted on how you are going, each step of the way!!

Also, good luck Angela with your project...:)


message 5: by Mandapanda (last edited Feb 23, 2011 12:03PM) (new)

Mandapanda I'm not sure where you guys live but they have an amazing festival at the end of the year called the National Young Writers Festival (29 SEPTEMBER - 3 OCTOBER 2011: NEWCASTLE AUSTRALIA). Might help inspire you! These links are from last year's festival. Good luck with your manuscripts!

http://www.youngwritersfestival.org/

http://thisisnotart.org/2010/10/natio...


message 6: by Murray (new)

Murray Gunn (murraygunn) | 211 comments Good luck to both of you. It's a good idea you have, Jessica, not to worry about editing. Leave the editing until you've finished. I find that if I even ask for feedback before I've finished the first draft (like reading it a writing group), then I'll get disheartened and won't finish.


Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) I know you said that this is for your personal satisfaction Jessica, and that's the way to go - worrying too much about a potential audience can create too much anxiety and writer's block and stuff.

However, I think it sounds like a really neat premise, and if turns out you're proud of it enough to share, I'll be queuing up to read it.


Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) Angela, when you're ready to share your premise/blurb, I'm curious.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

What a great personal challenge. We will be cheering you all the was Jessica. Move over JKR here comes Jess.

Best of luck to you as well Angela.


message 10: by Angela (new)

Angela (dilaby) I've called mine "Wolf Trade". I've done chapter 1 and half of two so far. I've written down the basic plot and whenever I think of anything, whether at home, shopping, etc I write notes down so I don't forget. I've even resorted to pulling over on the side of the road to take notes. LOL. Gotta love "Notes" on my iPhone. :)
Here is a rough blurb for you so far:

For the past 5 years women have been disappearing mysteriously from nightclubs across the country, no witnesses, not clues, no set pattern. Normally the FBI would take this case, but the underworld law enforcement believe it is connected to their world. Agent Dru Peterson and Akim Jackson are dumped with the case, three years of frustration and sleepless nights.

Sasha Benson's life will never be the same again. Waking in a cemented cell, aches and pains racking her body she discovers she has been captured for blood and sex trade. What's worse is she has been changed, her capturer's transforming her into a werewolf. The elite rich Vampire patrons will pay big bucks for the werewolf blood, a delicasee in their society. Will her and the other girls be found and rescued? Will she ever have a normal life again?

A choppy blurb but it gives you the basics. This is definitely not a YA, some mild violence and still considering how far to explain the sex scenes. Hard to know sometimes whether to jump in the deep end and go all on out or hold back a little. :)


message 11: by Angela (new)

Angela (dilaby) Hmmm, I like the sound of that one. Good luck. We'll have to keep tabs on how each of us are going as the year goes by. :)


Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) Couple of interesting ideas out there ladies!


message 13: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Jess and Angela, did you see the post by Velvetink? This announcement has just come up on the National Young Writers website:

National Young Writers Festival 2011 Submissions NOW OPEN
go here;
http://www.youngwritersfestival.org/s...

SUBMISSION CLOSE MARCH 2011
Submissions are now open for the 2011 National Young Writers' Festival (NYWF). We are seeking proposals from fiction writers, poets, journalists, zinesters, magazinesters, bloggers, playwrights, editors, curators, independent publishers, critics, activists, media geeks, comics creators, theory-heads, thinkers, performance artists, visual artists - all and sundry Friends of the Word to take part in the epic 2011 NYWF!

Whether you're fresh-faced and peppy-toed, or you've been around the literary block and lived to tell the tale, we want YOU. If you have a concept to peddle or an idea to burn: grab your lappy, your pen, your crayon - or better yet, all three, and get to filling out the following details.

Submissions close 31 March 2011.


message 14: by Angela (new)

Angela (dilaby) Thanks guys. Thanks Mandy for the info. Will have a squiz at it. :)


message 15: by Dianne (new)

Dianne Owens (keikomushi) | 38 comments ★ Jessica ★ wrote: "Okay, so when Im older I would LOVE to be a professional writer. You know, New York Times Bestseller, movie adaption, apartments in London and Sydney, it'd be more then nice :)
Im kidding, as long..."


If you need any feedback, be sure to let me know as I am more than willing to help.

★ Jessica ★ wrote: "That sounds very interesting, and would love to read some of it if your ready to share soon :)

Ive actually changed my story.
Well, I still plan on finishing 'Sixteen Circles' one day, but the m..."


The premise sounds intriguing so far. If you'd like to discuss it over skype some time, my username is keikomushi. Be sure to put in some details about who it is when you send the invite though, as I tend to get spam periodically.


message 16: by ★ Jess (new)

★ Jess  | 3071 comments Ugh, so Ive changed plot AGAINNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
This one is set in Victorian London. I am sticking with this one. I am not going to reveal details, though this is the one I plan on finishing.


message 17: by Laura (new)

Laura | 4299 comments ★ Jessica ★ wrote: "Ugh, so Ive changed plot AGAINNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
This one is set in Victorian London. I am sticking with this one. I am not going to reveal details, though this is the one I plan on finishing."


HEY! Keep on writing even if you change your mind while writing this idea down. Never know what you write atm will be a 'run way' for other ideas!!! :D


message 18: by Dianne (new)

Dianne Owens (keikomushi) | 38 comments ★ Jessica ★ wrote: "Ugh, so Ive changed plot AGAINNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
This one is set in Victorian London. I am sticking with this one. I am not going to reveal details, though this is the one I plan on finishing."


That isn't unusual. However, over time you'll note ideas becoming more clear in your head.
In the case of Victorian London, there is plenty of information about the culture and history, which includes stuff like laws and fashion. I'd recommend checking out steampunk-themed websites as well, as many of them have good examples of artwork from Victorian era England.
I would recommend doing short scene-based scenarios for your characters as a way of fleshing them out a bit more. There are a few helpful writing podcasts as well, which includes Writing Excuses (http://www.writingexcuses.com/) and Writer's Voice with Francesca Rheannon (http://www.writersvoice.net/). If you are looking for some nice music, then why not check out Jamendo? (http://www.jamendo.com/en) You'll have to sift through some rubbish, but once you found some suitable releases, download and/or create a playlist to get yourself in the mood to work on this project.
If you have any questions or need further help, then don't hesitate to let me know. Writers should help each other out, especially given this very time-consuming undertaking.


message 19: by ★ Jess (last edited Mar 03, 2011 01:44PM) (new)

★ Jess  | 3071 comments Carmel wrote: "I think I know what you're reading jessica!!!"

haha, I actually haven't started Clockwork Angel yet. But I promise you, its a total coincidence both are set in the same time period!
I will not begin reading that until ive finished my manuscript-so Im not tempted to copy ideas or descriptions (or get depressed about how much mine sucks compared to it!).
Ive actually got no idea what CA is about. I just know its an urban fantasy in Victorian London.
Mine is... not really urban fantasy. There is some supernatural stuff, but not a lot. Its a story driven by characters and their dark secrets.
Hopefully I dont write it too much like CA with out knowing :S

Anyway, last night I was making some character profiles, and drawing up a list of characters.
Ive got eight main characters. Ive already made one profile with a description and picture :)

Oh, and thank you very much Dianne. I'll check out those links tonight :D


message 20: by Laura (new)

Laura Rittenhouse | 200 comments ★ Jessica ★ wrote: "Carmel wrote: "I think I know what you're reading jessica!!!"

haha, I actually haven't started Clockwork Angel yet. But I promise you, its a total coincidence both are set in the sa..."


Jessica, one thing I do which really helps with the motivation (at least for me) is, as I write, I build a spreadsheet of progress. Things like chapter number (even maybe a snippet of what it's about - things like "big fight between A & S at restaurant"), writing start date, end date, number of words. I also have columns for latest update and number of words.

By keeping a running total I can see I'm making progress. I can look back and see that even if I feel I'm floundering I'm chipping away at it.

This also helps me reach my target word count. I don't want to spend too much time on the intro chapters or the conflict in the centre or that amazing climax. I can figure out what balance I think is right and see how I'm progressing.

Take it or leave it, it's free advice of something that's really worked for me.

Good luck and keep writing.


message 21: by William (new)

William Jorgensen (will_jorgensen) | 16 comments So how is all the writing coming along?

I have started countless books, never finished one :|.

I just don't think I can. My mind, an unfocused labyrinth, no direction or control with my writing.

There are times when I am completely locked into writing, I sometimes finished chapters, albeit the formatting and grammar were TERRIBLE. I hope all the writing is coming along well though.

Will


message 22: by Michael (new)

Michael (knowledgelost) William wrote: "So how is all the writing coming along?

I have started countless books, never finished one :|.

I just don't think I can. My mind, an unfocused labyrinth, no direction or control with my writing.
..."


I'm the same, I never finish any of the books I've started, I might stick to short stories...for now


message 23: by Rosanne (new)

Rosanne The short story is a totally different art form. I had to completely re-learn the art of writing when I started writing novels back in 1991. I have six collections of short stories, but only two or three sell well. Don't know what that is! But my novels are now taking off! I've had another accepted by my publishers, and they are really whizzing along with this one, this time - perhaps out before Christmas!!?? Oh boy, I wish. It's called Camera Obscura, and it's about a Perth photojournalist who falls in love with this impossible woman.
But short stories... I find them VERY hard to write now... all that condensation! LOL.


message 24: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 70504 comments Mod
Wow Rosanne...congratulations! You must be very proud of yourself:) Make sure you let us know when it'll be out for sale please:)


message 25: by Rosanne (new)

Rosanne Hi Brenda - I am correcting the galley proofs next week, and I've given the designer my ideas for the cover. (Yes, already!) That means ... I don't know!! I have a feeling they want to put it out by Christmas. Yes, of course I'll let you know. Thanks for your interest.


message 26: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 70504 comments Mod
Rosanne wrote: "Hi Brenda - I am correcting the galley proofs next week, and I've given the designer my ideas for the cover. (Yes, already!) That means ... I don't know!! I have a feeling they want to put it out b..."

It's very exciting:)


message 27: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Lamperd Rosanne wrote: "The short story is a totally different art form. I had to completely re-learn the art of writing when I started writing novels back in 1991. I have six collections of short stories, but only two or..."
congratulations on your successes, Rosanne. I don't write short stories either now. Nor do I write poetry. With writing a novel, my thoughts are always on what will the characters do next. The Internet has opened up the publishing world for writers. best of luck.
http://aussieauthorsatwork.blogspot.com


message 28: by Graham (new)

Graham (giraham) | 60 comments I've been taking notes for an idea I've had for a while, but lightning hasn't struck for all the ideas to be threaded together, so I havent been bothered to actually get writing, otherwise it'll end up as one of my stupid short stories, or go nowhere worthwhile


message 29: by Jaye (new)

Jaye Patrick | 15 comments Try doing the National Novel Writing Month. It's excellent for focusing on the characters and telling the story.


message 30: by Louise (new)

Louise (loupie) | 19 comments Good idea, Jaye - and as a plus, NaNoWriMo is November, so it will give a big push to the goal to have the manuscript finished for the end of the year.


message 31: by Ainslie (new)

Ainslie Paton (ainsliepaton) | 11 comments Ok all you not finishers. Quit wimping out. Go the distance. Come on you can do it. Recently had a big work project go sideways majorly and needed something to do to avoid shopping! Seriously. Always said I would write something. Yeah, yeah. But this time I got serious. It was winter, it was cold! Blank page June 1. No clue. Finished first draft 67,000 words July 3. Reviewed. Edited. Cover designed. Published on Amazon Sept 5.

Now I'm not saying it's brilliant. It so ain't - but it got done. And if I can do it - yeah, yeah, but no excuses so can you.

Stop trying to be perfect. Stop waiting for inspiration. Go the hard graft. And buckets of coffee!


message 32: by ★ Jess (new)

★ Jess  | 3071 comments Wow, speed writer much? Thats awesome and all, except...
Ainslie wrote: "Now I'm not saying it's brilliant. It so ain't - but it got done."
Im not publishing anything thats not brilliant. I'll do as many drafts as humanly possible until Im sure its as good as I can make it, before I even attempt to look for a publisher.


message 33: by Laura (new)

Laura Rittenhouse | 200 comments Ainslie - I like your approach.
Jess - I like yours as well.

You've hit on one of the (many) dilemmas an author faces - when is enough, enough? We all want a book to be as good as it can be - but it will never be perfect. I heard Peter Carey speaking once and he said he wanted to go back and redo some of the prose in some of his early short stories. The other author on the panel (I think it was Ian McEwan) was horrified and said he'd never read any of his old writing. He knew it would be full of flaws but it was too late to change it. He only wanted to think about his current or next book.

This made me realise that "perfection" is at best temporary.

I think it boils down to what you're trying to do. If you want to enjoy writing, produce something you love (whether others do or not) and then move on to more of the fun of writing - just go for it. If you're convinced you want to (and can) attract a mainstream publisher - then edit, edit, edit. And get everyone you know who is brave enough to edit, edit, edit (my friends and husband won't do this - can't say I blame them). And try to join up with a group of writers who will edit, edit, edit. And if at the end you can't stand reading your own book one more time, it's probably time to hunt for a publisher. Whether your book's perfect, brilliant or will attract the attention of a publisher is still going to be open to debate, but at least you've done all you humanly can.


message 34: by Ainslie (new)

Ainslie Paton (ainsliepaton) | 11 comments I'm with you Laura. I will never be as good as I want to be. I will never scrape the sides of perfection and thinking that I needed to be pretty much stopped me even trying. I now realise the only way I'm going to get anything done is try and try and fail and try again. It's also the case that I'm not attempting the world's best read either. It not so much about lasting glory as actively learning a craft


message 35: by Laura (new)

Laura Rittenhouse | 200 comments Ainslie, I totally agree. I wrote my first novel on a subject that was pretty much thrust on me (very loosely based on my great-grandmother's life) and found I enjoyed writing it (and I'm pleased with the result) but it was kind of heavy going. So for my second novel I tried something much lighter, and put it in the first person. For my 3rd novel I tried a different voice and style. Each of my writing attempts is still about learning the craft. I definitely don't feel that my voice is fixed, my style is set and my genre is with me for life. That's half the fun. And if writing wasn't fun, I wouldn't do it.

Perfection I might consider in my next life....


message 36: by Jaye (new)

Jaye Patrick | 15 comments Ainslie said: I will never be as good as I want to be.

Tsk, tsk. How good do you want to be? Like any craft, it takes practice and through practice, you'll gain experience. The easy bit is finishing your first novel - then the hard work begins: writing the second and editing the first.

You'll probably find your first work is riddled with extraneous words, passive sentences and dubious spelling; and that's the surface stuff. If not, I wanna be YOU!

Have your characters changed any features, like hair or eye colour. Does your character have motivation? What are they risking to achieve their goal(s)? What's the worse thing you can do to them and have you done it? Does your ending fulfil the promise at the beginning? Are there any disappearing characters or plot lines?

No writer produces a perfect book, and every book they write can be improved upon. The only thing you can do is produce the best work you can, then hand it off to someone to read.


message 37: by Ainslie (new)

Ainslie Paton (ainsliepaton) | 11 comments So I am editing, editing, editing. Helps that I learned that trade in my real life - it's certainly a jump start. And on the watch big time for the passive, redundant, extraneous. In fact my problem is probably more the opposite. I write spare and lean I have to go back and embroider or my prose is too clipped. Comes from years of writing for media when less is more. In fiction less is just less unless it's meant to be that way.

These posts made me think about the whole perspiration v inspiration thing. I have a number of very talented friends, one writes, one paints. Neither of them produce anything they are both waiting for inspiration. That sounded good to me and I waited too, until I worked out I had a problem if it didn't come. The rest of my life is about working at something why did I suddenly think I'd get a flash of sustaining brilliance and everything would get easy?

Not saying I don't have flashes but they aren't the life changing lightning bolts that both my friends are waiting for. I hope they get them. I worry that they will wait too long. I've decided hard graft is the only way I'm ever going to, as Seth Godin says, "ship!" as in produce something finished.


message 38: by Alison (new)

Alison Stewart (alisonds) | 1 comments Good luck Jess! I think it's an excellent idea to just keep writing. Get it finished and then look at it with a view to editing. Writing's such a solitary process and it's easy to get disheartened.So I wish you heaps of heart and all best wishes!


message 39: by Jaye (new)

Jaye Patrick | 15 comments Ainslie said: Comes from years of writing for media when less is more.

I'm hearing you on that! I was taught to write just the facts, make the announcement, whatever. I think I reached the pinnacle of that when my boss said on a media release I wrote, "It's a little... spare, don't you think?" and asked for more descriptive language.

It's difficult to modify journalistic style into entertaining fiction.

Hard graft is the only way. Your inspiration comes from the first idea for the book; all you have to do (hah!) is work on it!

But. Writing a book is a rush; finishing one, addictive.


message 40: by Ainslie (new)

Ainslie Paton (ainsliepaton) | 11 comments Yes - wasn't ready for it to be quite such an addictive thing. 2am and porrige for dinner isn't such a hardship (until those nights add up - and they are!)


message 41: by Ainslie (new)

Ainslie Paton (ainsliepaton) | 11 comments Seth Godin posted this tonight. Thought it was right on topic:

Talker's block
No one ever gets talker's block. No one wakes up in the morning, discovers he has nothing to say and sits quietly, for days or weeks, until the muse hits, until the moment is right, until all the craziness in his life has died down.

Why then, is writer's block endemic?
The reason we don't get talker's block is that we're in the habit of talking without a lot of concern for whether or not our inane blather will come back to haunt us. Talk is cheap. Talk is ephemeral. Talk can be easily denied.

We talk poorly and then, eventually (or sometimes), we talk smart. We get better at talking precisely because we talk. We see what works and what doesn't, and if we're insightful, do more of what works. How can one get talker's block after all this practice?
Writer's block isn't hard to cure.

Just write poorly. Continue to write poorly, in public, until you can write better.

I believe that everyone should write in public. Get a blog. Or use Squidoo or Tumblr or a microblogging site. Use an alias if you like. Turn off comments, certainly--you don't need more criticism, you need more writing.

Do it every day. Every single day. Not a diary, not fiction, but analysis. Clear, crisp, honest writing about what you see in the world. Or want to see. Or teach (in writing). Tell us how to do something.
If you know you have to write something every single day, even a paragraph, you will improve your writing. If you're concerned with quality, of course, then not writing is not a problem, because zero is perfect and without defects. Shipping nothing is safe.

The second best thing to zero is something better than bad. So if you know you have write tomorrow, your brain will start working on something better than bad. And then you'll inevitably redefine bad and tomorrow will be better than that. And on and on.
Write like you talk. Often.


message 42: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Lamperd Ainslie wrote: "So I am editing, editing, editing. Helps that I learned that trade in my real life - it's certainly a jump start. And on the watch big time for the passive, redundant, extraneous. In fact my pro..."

Yes, I don't think that you wait for inspiration, Ainslie. I think you begin as you have, then inspiration comes. All the best with your book. I hope your artistic friends follow your example.

http://laurellamperdwriter.weebly.com


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