Novice writers here!

This topic contains 18 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Kayla Skywriter 4 days, 15 hours ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
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  • #36623

    Thomas (CrØss_Bl₳de)
    @thewirelessblade

    This is where us who got the Novice rank can hang out.

    You can hang out here whatever rank you are, but this forum was designated for Novices.

    – Blade

    *Forum Signature here*

    #36625

    Elizabeth
    @elizabeth

    Yo, yo, yo

    INTP. Writer of fantasy and sci-fi. Wannabe artist. Anime geek. Merakian.

    #36635

    Thomas (CrØss_Bl₳de)
    @thewirelessblade

    (To Super Mario Bros. tune) Yo yo yo, yo yo yo, yo.

    *Forum Signature here*

    #36644

    Elizabeth
    @elizabeth

    *walks in playing with a yo-yo* I dunno, I read that as the little riff from the Wii build-a-Mii soundtrack thing.

    INTP. Writer of fantasy and sci-fi. Wannabe artist. Anime geek. Merakian.

    #43434

    Catherine Roche
    @writercatherine

    Hello! Novice writer here! *throws confetti*

    Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam - For the greater glory of God
    Catholic, student, bookdragon

    #54460

    Eden Anderson
    @eden-anderson

    @thewirelessblade   @writercatherine  @elizabeth

    Hey, yeah, I know this thread is dead…has been dead for two months…but I thought Ferdinand and I could try and resurrect it. 😀

    So, I ranked a novice and there are some questions I thought would be fun and helpful to ask you guys…see if I can get a discussion going. (unless you guys have all left this forum…*sigh*)

    Okay, moving on…I was wondering:

    How do you guys, as novice’s, fight against the lie that you’ll never be as good as advanced authors…people who have been in the writing field for years, have published multiple books, and have enough knowledge to fill a full-length dictionary? (At least it seems that way.)

    Maybe you don’t struggle with that…I do.

    Also, how helpful do you guys think having a writing schedule is? How important is it to have a specific time each day to sit down and write?

    I’ve been struggling with motivation recently.  This is me…with writing…

    I’m wondering if creating a schedule would help that…any suggestions or ideas?

     

     

    (If you, in fact, have all left this forum and happen to be preoccupied with other things…well, fine…this thread can just stay dead…)

    "But how could you live and have no story to tell?" - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    #54516

    Taylor Clogston
    @taylorclogston

    @eden-anderson You already know it’s a lie, that’s step one =P A lot of these “advanced authors” have spent ridiculous amounts of time and money over the years getting to the point where they’re at, and trying to compare yourself to that is just silly. Just focus on improving in one small area a smidgen a day, and I promise it will add up. The alternative is not improving yourself every day, and we can’t afford that!

    Whether that means actually practicing writing every day (which not everyone has time for; I know I don’t) or doing a page of copy work, or doing a bit of active fiction reading, or going over a craft essay or a few pages of a craft book, or just having a conversation with someone about writing, if you do something every day you will be able to look back at the writer you are now and say “wow, look how far I’ve come!”

    And even those big name hot shots are improving, too. Stephen King and Brandon Sanderson are kind of held up as demigods in the writing community, but compare their older to newer stuff and see an enormous difference. King has always had terrible conclusions to his stories, but not only is he getting better at structure, his prose is dramatically better and his characters much more engaging in his last few books than in the ones for which he is most famous! And Sanderson… well, as much as enjoy some aspects of Elantris, it’s still Elantris. And outside his magic systems, I don’t think his earlier books in general had much of anything going for them and were a chore to finish. But then he comes out with Words of Radiance and Oathbringer and those become some of my favorite books, and seeing how Sanderson has grown over the years makes me so happy.

    You might end up at that point too, some day, the point where people say “How could I ever do all the stuff Eden Anderson’s done? She has so many books and they’re so good, how could I ever get to that point?”

    But that’s only going to happen so long as you improve every single day and never stop, starting today.

    taylorclogston.com/learn-how-to-write

    #54658

    Eden Anderson
    @eden-anderson

    @taylorclogston

    This is so true. Thank you for replying…even if you aren’t a novice. (are you????)

    The truths you stated above are ones that I know in my head…but my heart doesn’t really believe them…if you know what I mean. 😀 I think my biggest problem is that I want to be an amazing writer RIGHT NOW and obviously that’s not going to happen, so then I get frustrated and discouraged. There’s gonna be a lot of blood, sweat, and tears…and that’s not always the most exciting idea to embrace.

    Again, thanks for you comments. They were encouraging and helpful!

     

    "But how could you live and have no story to tell?" - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    #54892

    Taylor Clogston
    @taylorclogston

    @eden-anderson I’m definitely a novice in some areas of writing. And yeah, I know, it would be awesome to just be able to be amazing right now. I know the feeling =P Agreeing head and heart knowledge is stupidly hard.

    taylorclogston.com/learn-how-to-write

    #55020

    Eden Anderson
    @eden-anderson

    @taylorclogston

    What would you say is one of the hardest things you struggle with as a novice writer?

    I think one of my biggest issues is description/evocative writing/showing not telling. I am SO bad at creating interesting scenes because my writing goes mostly like this:

    Kara walked into the room. Unfortunately she didn’t notice the small object lying at her feet. She fell flat on her face. That didn’t feel good.

    Okay, so that was kinda an extreme example, but you get my drift. Any suggestions or ideas about how I could improve in this area?

    (Maybe I just need…PRACTICE. 😆 To be honest, some days I hate that word.)

    "But how could you live and have no story to tell?" - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    #55220

    Taylor Clogston
    @taylorclogston

    @eden-anderson I have a ton of trouble with having a story be about more than just a couple characters in a linear path doing things other than just plot points. I’m writing a short story about a guy who is enslaved for the crime of necromancy, sold in another country, and finds himself overseen by someone of his own people who has decided the gods have put the protagonist under the overseer’s control so the slave can be punished for his crime. There are a lot of other people around and an atmospheric setting and all kinds of great stuff and I neither want nor know how to do anything with it all.

    As for descriptive writing, here’s a great primer on the mechanics of nice sentences, and beyond that, I’m a huge advocate for copy work. Look through your favorite books and find pages with the most powerful or evocative or beautiful descriptions on them, and then write or type out those pages. Let yourself sort of feel what it would have been like to write those pages in the first place. Do this often enough with a diverse enough set of styles and you will likely start to just intuit nice prose better. Then there’s the basic advice about engaging all five senses, using precise rather than flowery language, varying sentence length and pacing, etc.

    I hope some of this was helpful! Like you said, practice is key, but only good practice makes perfect. It helps to have a fairly solid standard to point toward.

    taylorclogston.com/learn-how-to-write

    #55227

    Thomas (CrØss_Bl₳de)
    @thewirelessblade

    Chances are, it’s the most important part of writing. But I don’t have one, so I wouldn’t know.

    *Forum Signature here*

    #55411

    Eden Anderson
    @eden-anderson

    @thewirelessblade

    AHHH! So you are still alive and active on this guild. That’s a relief. XD

    But I’m slightly confused…what were you referring to when you said you didn’t have one so you didn’t know?

    @taylorclogston

    Thanks so much for that link! I’m gonna to read it when I have time…I look super helpful!

    I’ve never heard of copy work before. Unique idea, but do you think it would mess with finding your own voice?

    BTW, your story sounds incredibly interesting. (Is it the same one you were asking people to critique for you?)

    "But how could you live and have no story to tell?" - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    #55417

    Taylor Clogston
    @taylorclogston

    @eden-anderson You’re welcome! I have some other recommendations at my web site (and this is currently all I actually have on my site, heh) that have helped me tremendously in my growth: http://taylorclogston.com/learn-how-to-write/

    I was forced to do copy work in, like, grade school, and I hated it then. It’s still not terribly “fun,” but it’s definitely valuable. Hunter S. Thomson and Benjamin Franklin famously taught themselves to write well by “copying” others. Thomson did it by literally rewriting all of The Great Gatsby and A Farewell to Arms, and Franklin did it by making a sentence-by-sentence outline of articles from the magazine The Spectator, and then recreated the articles in his own words from the outline.

    Rather than messing with finding your own voice, I think copywork is one of the most powerful ways to develop it. It’s what I attribute to my own voice, which I humbly believe to be one of my strengths =P I think the key is to copy from as many different sources as you can, and only the ones which have a voice that resonates with you already. It’s impossible for your voice to come from the ether anyway; it necessarily has to come from something you’ve already experienced. You could do it the hard way, like most people do, and just develop a voice by sheer volume of books read and written, internalizing the bits which resonate with you over the years without realizing it, or you can do a much more efficient version of that here.

    Think of it like the difference between getting strong because you work a job where you lift a bunch of crates and sacks over the course of a day for years on end, and getting strong because you go to the gym and do specific exercises every day.

    As for the story, it’s a different one than I had on here before. I’ll post it here at some point when it’s done. I’ve only got like 3K words written after a couple weeks. I already know how NaNo is going to turn out this year =P

    taylorclogston.com/learn-how-to-write

    #55527

    Eden Anderson
    @eden-anderson

    @taylorclogston

    Thanks for the invitation to go stalk your website. 😆 I’ve actually only ever read one of the books that you recommended, The Art of Fiction by John Gardner, but I’m gonna check out some of the other resources. Thanks for sharing with me!

    This copy work idea is sounding more and more amazing. It makes a lot of sense. (BTW, fifty thumbs up to you for finding your voice…I’m still trying to figure out what it even means when people talk about voice. 😕  I understand it better than I used to, but I’m still kinda lost.) Anyway, back to about copy work. I really want to try it out and see if it works…it definitely sounds like a better alternative than struggling on and on for years and hardly getting anywhere.

    YAY! I want to read your story when you finish it. Hey, I hope NaNo goes well for you!

    "But how could you live and have no story to tell?" - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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