The Reasons Why you wrote your book or books discussion

what are the first steps to getting published

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message 1: by Ari (new)

Ari S | 14 comments as a new writer I have always wondered where i would start in my writing. hints, tips, or ideas would be appreciated.

message 2: by Ed (new)

Ed Ditto (gratefuled) | 3 comments Hi, Ari.

Oddly enough, I'd say start writing by reading. Read books you like and books you hate. Each one has something to teach you. "I'd like to do that" and "I'd never do that" are equally valuable lessons.

As you're getting started writing, imitate the styles of writers you like, writers who move you. Add their tools to your bag, so to speak, and you'll soon find that you're writing in a voice all your own, with its own unique character.

Don't delve into the novel right away. Start with short fiction. Publish it yourself on web writing groups, and don't get so much ego wrapped up into it that you're unable to listen to constructive criticism--because constructive criticism is your best friend at this point.

And this is heavy personal opinion, here, but don't get caught up in contests. Try to sell your work instead. (Writer's Market is a good friend.) A check is better than a blue ribbon, I think, and when you sell--actually sell-- that first piece you'll see what I mean.

One great way to learn basic storytelling is to approach a local independent newspaper and offer to write lifestyle-type pieces for them. Learn how to interview a subject and help them tell their story on the printed page, and the jump to helping fictional people tell their stories won't seem like such a long one.

Another thing you ought to do--and this is a time-consuming exercise, but it'll pay off in spades--is to take your favorite novel and write a sentence about every paragraph in it. Why is this paragraph here, what does it do, etc. Totally deconstruct the novel and you'll learn a surprising amount about what was going on in the author's head during the creative process.

Those are just a few things off the top of my head. This is a great art form and there aren't any rules and I wish you great luck with it and great pleasure from it.


message 3: by Donald (new)

Donald (donroc) | 4 comments You might take a creative writing course and purchase books on writing.

If you have a story to tell, make an outline and describe your main character and others.

Consider if you want to write fiction or non-fiction, a novel, short story, play, or screenplay.

Write a first draft all the way through. Do not rewrite over and over the first pages or first chapter.

Then edit, rewrite, edit, rewrite until it is perfect. Next, give it to a beta reader for criticism and never to a friend or relative for ego strokes.

Hope this helps a bit.


message 4: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn (perunest) | 7 comments Ari,
Write every day, everything that pops into your mind that strikes you as something creative, interesting, or just a good line for a book. While doing this, certainly read as much as possible, as Ed suggested, and educate yourself, as Donalds speaks of. If you are of a mind to, buy reference books on writing, grammar, plot, character - even if the books don't agree on certain points, you'll be exposed to different ways of thinking. Most importantly, find your voice by writing, writing, writing. You'll see your style emerge, your unique way of telling a story or writing a poem. As a new writer, you should adhere to the "rules" of grammar and punctuation as much as possible - these are tools of communication. Famous authors often get away with sometimes "breaking" the rules. When you become well known, you can "break away," too. Good luck - keep writing!

message 5: by Sig (new)

Sig Rosenblum (sigrosenblum) All of the above are excellent tips. To me, the key question is this: Do you want to be a writer or are you driven to actually write. If you are a real writer, you will not be able to do otherwise than put pencil to paper or fingers to keyboard. And keep a notebook or diary. Enter all your fears, joys, frustrations, triumphs--every day! Good luck.

Sig Rosenblum

message 6: by Keelin (new)

Keelin hey people new to the group!
this is an interesting subject since im in the middle of writting a book myself and the only thing thats holding me back is wether or not people would like it.

Who would be the best people to show your book to efore you get it published. Friends or Family???

message 7: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn (perunest) | 7 comments Keelin, It's great to have friends and family read your work - but remember they are not apt to be absolutely truthful and tell you where problems are, or make extensive corrections. One way to test readership is to join a website for writers like FanStory. You'll get comments all over the place, some good, some bad, but, in general, you'll see if people are caught up in your work and what the general consensus is.

message 8: by Martha (new)

Martha Cheves (stirlaughrepeat) | 4 comments Keelin wrote: "hey people new to the group!
this is an interesting subject since im in the middle of writting a book myself and the only thing thats holding me back is wether or not people would like it.

Who ..."

My book was written with no intent of publishing. I let a friend "proofread" what I had written and she was the one who encouraged me to find a publisher.

message 9: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Boyer (barbara_boyer) | 7 comments I have found writing a book to be very hard work. Getting the story on the page is simple enough (not.) Getting it edited is simple enough. Now marketing... that is the real job. I believe, for myself, this is where my passion for writing sustains/drives me. It is truly the most treacherous of a writer's tasks.

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