Writing a book

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by Dakotah, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. Dakotah

    Dakotah Kotah BEAR

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    So I want to write a book.

    The reason this came up was because 3 nights ago I had a terrible, horror movie of a dream. But it was SOOO good, like I was watching a movie in my sleep.

    I told my best friend about my dream, and she said "That sounds like a horror or scifi crazy movie. You should write about it!" As a joke, but I was like ooooh good idea! lol

    So since then, I've been wanting to write a book, strictly based off of a dream I had. Sounds crazy and a little stupid, but everyone has weird/strange/crazy ideas they want to do.

    Most people never remember their dreams, I remember them. From the people in them to the clothes they are wearing to what they say.
    And I use to have a dream, wake up, go back to sleep, then dream something else. But this dream; I had the dream, woke up, went back to sleep, and continued to have this dream.

    But I want to write about this dream. As a horror/scifi/fictional book.

    How would I go about doing this? I just want to doodle around and get a feel of the writing world.

    So any advice, info, anything, would be greatly appreciated :)
     
  2. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    I've thought about writing a book, too. It's kind of been a dream since I was really little. Also a dream: being the President's (any president) speech writer. :)

    Anyway, I've dabbled a little bit in fan fiction, and while there are a lot of really bad fan fic writers, there are also some good ones. And they have discussion forums. I learned a lot just reading threads of writers discussing characters and plot lines and stuff. I haven't gotten real serious about writing, so I'm sure there are other sources out there, but that's just my one suggestion. ;)
     
  3. AllieMackie

    AllieMackie Wookie Collie

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    My advice?

    Don't start with a book.

    Start with writing short stories. Even fanfics, the fanfic world is a great place to get feedback on your writing, prose and structure with using established worlds and characters.

    Dreams are usually great fodder for short stories. You can even sell your better short stories as e-books for a dollar or two on places like Smashwords to get your name out there on a smaller scale, before building up to publishing a book.

    The writing world is very neck and neck. I have a few writer friends who are still working their way into it after ten years of writing (and they're GOOD - here's a good friend who is amazing at sci-fi/fantasy, check her out!)

    Good writing is like any other craft. Art, handcrafting, any skill... it's all the same. Your stuff will suck at first. How much you improve is based on how much time you put into ongoing learning, practice, and refining. :)

    Resources I like:

    Usually when I write fiction I use this method, it works great.
    http://www.bubblecow.net/see-how-easily-you-can-write-a-novel-using-the-snowflake-method

    Some pretty amazing tips from many established authors:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/feb/20/ten-rules-for-writing-fiction-part-one

    TONS of stuff on this site. It can be a bit tricky to navigate at first. Be patient. There's good stuff here.
    http://www.fictionfactor.com/

    Ridiculous amounts of good article sources.
    http://writeitsideways.com/101-of-the-best-fiction-writing-tips-part-i/

    Also, you should do this:

    http://www.nanowrimo.org/

    But also join their website in general, great resources and tips for writers.

    Hope that helps! I'm mostly a fic writer myself, but I'd love to get into short stories as well, with all that free time I have. :rolleyes:
     
  4. Dakotah

    Dakotah Kotah BEAR

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    Thanks yall!

    Allie- I will definitely check out all of those links! <3

    ETA: I joined that last link. Can't wait to see what they have!
    And I'm going to check out what your friend has done as well :)
     
  5. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    The best advice I ever got was:

    Butt in chair. Write.

    It's okay if your first draft is crap. That's what revision is for so don't be discouraged by it. Some people write very clean first drafts, others (like me) produce something that looks like it belongs in a fire pit.

    As far as short story vs. a novel, I this is what I've learned.

    Don't write short stories to practice writing a novel. The two are completely different story forms. If you want to write a novel, concentrate on writing a novel.

    Do write short stories if you want to write shorts. Do write them if you need to experience what it feels like to actually finish something and type, "the end." Learning how to complete a story is just as valuable as learning to craft one in the first place.

    Also, everybody starts at different places in actual writing skill. It's like any other skill, practice will go a long way. One thing that has helped me stay on target with raising two kids and working is to set a lowball goal I can meet every single day. 200 words. 500 words. Something short and doable I can whip out in 15 minutes. If your goal is to write a 100K word novel, that can seem like an intimidating goal. If you get in the habit of writing 500 words a day, you'll have your first draft in only 200 days (or less, since you'll probably have a lot of days where you get on a roll and produce 1000+).

    Edit:

    I took Holly Lisle's How to Think Sideways course. It was AMAZING. She doesn't teach technical grammar/writing skills, her courses assume you already know that. She teaches critical thinking, storytelling/scene/plot/character/worldbuilding/awesomesauce. Her course shaved years off my learning curve. And several of my classmates have gone on to land sweet book deals. She also has a nice self-publishing and promotion clinic if that's a route you'd like to go.

    http://howtothinksideways.com/
     
  6. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    Fanfics are teh awesome!!!

    I used to write. I recently tried writing again. It failed. Turns out I'm only a decent writer when I'm depressed. Go figure.


    OT: Wanna know the worst feeling in the world?? Having a movie/book/tv series end horribly, but thinking it's all A-OK, you'll just go read some more satisfying endings on fanfic.net only to realize THERE IS NO FANDOM!!! As in, there are only 12 stories about the series. TWELVE!! Now I have to write my own. Don't be surprised if I am moody and depressing the next few months as I write my own ending to the series.
     
  7. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Probably the best advice I would have as well, honestly... that's pretty much what it boils down to.

    Also, get yourself a notebook and write down all your ideas in it. Doesn't matter if it's a line or two or several pages. Just get it written down.
     
  8. Tahla9999

    Tahla9999 Active Member

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    Ditto on that last part. I've feel in love with the movie Chronicles and I really want to read some good fanfiction of it. Tried hard to look for them, but only found 4 of them. Only one was readable.:(
     
  9. LostAndConfused

    LostAndConfused Active Member

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    You can also mess around with different writing mediums. I've found that I'm a pen and paper person. having a computer in front is too distracting and I freeze.
     
  10. Lilavati

    Lilavati Arbitrary and Capricious

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    Write. Write. Write some more. If you have writers block, find some writing excercise online and do that. Just don't sit there and stare at a blank screen.

    And if you have a great idea, write it down. Write down everything you think of about it. Carry a notebook and write down those ideas that come to you throughout the day.
     
  11. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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  12. Dakotah

    Dakotah Kotah BEAR

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    Thanks yall.

    I did some sit butt in chair & write this morning. I got 3.5 pages of ideas & details.
     
  13. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    All of those. Absolutely.

    Sometimes you will start out thinking you have a novel and it turns out to be a short story, or a novella.

    Listen to your characters. Get to know them, the ones you love, the ones you despise, the ones who make you think, "WTF is this idiot doing in my book," the sages and assholes, and never forget the best heroes have flaws, they screw up, they get back up, they grow. There is no such thing as a great story without great characters.

    Oh, yes. READ. READ. RE-READ. You will learn more about writing from re-reading books you have loved than from anything else.

    If you can find a writers' group, join it.
     
  14. ~Dixie's_Mom~

    ~Dixie's_Mom~ ♥Chloe & Violet♥

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    My advice is just to go for it. I've written tons of short stories and stuff, and I hope to write a novel someday. I'm actually writing something right now based off of a dream as well. :)

    Good luck! Just write down different ideas you have, even if they don't all make sense yet, and you can pull from different things as you go.
     
  15. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Keeping a notebook is SO helpful! And dreams can have the seeds of great stories -- they are where your mind roams freely into places it will never go when waking.
     
  16. Dakotah

    Dakotah Kotah BEAR

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    Thanks yall!

    I am reading a book called a Band Of Sisters, about women in Afghanistan and Iraq over the last few years. Pretty **** good book. I like nonfictional books best, and autobiographies. I like some horror books, but very picky about them.

    I might have to go hit amazon and see what they have on there.
     
  17. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    The thing I have really enjoyed was joining a writers group. Particularly in the genre that you are currently writing for. That way you get great feed back for your stories and ideas but its very inspiring to read and watch others work through the process.
     
  18. AllieMackie

    AllieMackie Wookie Collie

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    Great advice!
     
  19. ~Jessie~

    ~Jessie~ Chihuahua Power!

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    Great advice has been given in this thread!

    I wrote a novel a couple of years ago. I have yet to completely read through and edit it. I would force myself to write 2,000 words a day- I'd sit at the computer and just type it out! That's the most important piece of advice I can give you: JUST WRITE! Just get it out there.

    The Nanowrimo forums are a good resource. Obviously their novel writing month doesn't start until November, but there is a lot of good advice to be found in their forums.
     
  20. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    I have to turn off the internet. :p
     

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