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March 23, 2013, 10:17:19 PM

HealerOne

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The Writer’s Round Table
A Place to Talk About the Writing Journey

Welcome! Welcome! We are so excited to invite you into our unique writer’s platform! We have been busy reconfiguring and building an excellent place for those of you who are writers. We know that there are all types or writers (or want-to-be writers) out there who are looking for a place to showcase what they have written; or learn the ins and outs of writing (or publishing); or even to show off some of their not-for-publication work! So we thought it would be a grand idea to have a Round Table for those who venture into this area – a place for each of us to share some insight as to why we are seeking such a hide-away.
 
Let’s start out with some general Getting-to-know-you questions:

•   So what do you like to write? Fiction? Poetry? FanFic? Short Stories? Memoirs?

•   Where are you in your writing process? Thinking about writing? Have a complete                  manuscript and unsure what to do now? Already published? Multiply publications?

•   What sparks your writing imagination?

•   Anything else you’d like to share about your writer’s journey?
   
I’ll jump in and start first. I’ve written all my life but not what you call publishable items! Letters, notes and even marketing pamphlets were the majority of my writing before I started writing for The Leaky Cauldron as a Reading Group Leader. Then a few years ago I learned of NaNoWriMo. I’m sure some of you know of this challenge to write a 50,000 word manuscript in one month (November). Well, I easily made the word count but my ‘novel’ had no ending! The next year I had a plan and was able to knock out a complete novel in that time. Last year was a bust because my Laptop crashed and was in the repair shop for weeks - there went the November challenge!

Writing was fun! However, now what? I’ve been at the polishing/editing/formatting my one complete manuscript for a long time. I ‘queried’ many an agent without a bite and I am now at the porthole of probably going with Amazon or the like, just to have a work out there so I can move on!

A few months ago I started a writer’s group at my local Senior Center. In talking with them, I again have started a new novel which I think might be more marketable than my last effort.  It’s amazing what starts the writer’s imagination in me! Usually a concept wrought out of my experiences in some way and then enlarged to make a story from beginning to end.  I’ve had several false starts of stories which are still in notebooks, but I think this one will work.

Just a few personal notes: I live in Florida. I have two foo-foo dogs and I am now retired and busier than ever!

Let’s hear from you! We are all anxious to meet those of you that wander in here!
« Last Edit: March 25, 2013, 04:16:41 PM by HealerOne »


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March 25, 2013, 05:00:37 PM
Reply #1

ss19

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When I was a youngster, I liked to imagine stories in my head whenever I was bored or stuck somewhere such as waiting for the bus or for an appointment.  The only time I ever tried to turn one of those stories into writing was when I was maybe 12 or 13 and tried to write a novel.  It didn't go very well.  I had a few characters and had the start of a plot, but couldn't go very far with them, and gave up on it rather quickly.  I don't see myself ever completing a novel or a short story for fun or for publication, and I have a lot of respect and admiration for people who are capable of doing that.  It amazes me to read that HealerOne and others could write a complete novel in one month for NaNoWriMo!

I have, however, recently become very interested in the writing and publication process because I have a close friend who's an aspiring author, plus a young daughter who says she wants to be an author when she grows up and seems very serious about it.  I look forward to hanging around this platform learning from all the writers among us!

« Last Edit: March 25, 2013, 05:02:31 PM by ss19 »
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March 25, 2013, 08:43:37 PM
Reply #2

Evreka

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When I was a youngster, I liked to imagine stories in my head whenever I was bored or stuck somewhere such as waiting for the bus or for an appointment. 
Like ss19 I've always liked to imagine stories in my head, and am in fact still doing this in spare moments. When I have an intriguing idea I can pursue it in my head and consider what would happen next, the choices my imaginary people will make and where it would lead them, occasionally dreaming up full conversations between them. I haven't, however, tried to write any of this down and am far from sure I would be able to.

When I was still in school I loved Swedish (my first language) and writing essays. I was pretty good at it, for my age, and was sometimes given the honour of reading it aloud to the entire class. Any subject for essays in which I could let my imagination flow freely was a great one. I still remember a few of those essays (though very vaguely) with titles going something along the lines of The Adventure in the Old Mine, Life from a Young Ants Horizon and so on. As I grew older, the subjects in school became less and less imaginative and more and more about writing factual essays. In the beginning I hated this new approach to writing, but eventually I became used to it and I stopped writing anything else. Apart from writing a few spoof song texts close to the originals, but mocking the original text somewhat (for example turning a spring song into "praise" for the lingering winter) or rhyme up a small poem for the fun of it and without any deeper intentions, I wrote mostly things that I needed to write for University.

One of the fun things that I did write during that period, however, was as a co-writer for a few skits which was created within a smaller non-profit organisation. No theatre in the world would have been interested, but we had a lot of fun with them and that was the sole purpose of it - literally writing for fun!

Then in spring 2008, Rudius Hagrid  :hagrid: got the idea to create an online version of The Quibbler which I was very lucky to get involved in right from the start. It is immensely fun to throw all of science and "normal" logic out the window and dive head first into articles that Xeno might be interested in!  :ginny: :luna:

So, while I am certainly no author, I love to write small pieces entirely for my own pleasure and/or The Quibbler. And I am very impressed by those who manages to write whole novels or even short stories that others can read.  :hermioneread:
« Last Edit: March 25, 2013, 08:54:39 PM by Evreka »
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March 25, 2013, 09:40:47 PM
Reply #3

T-Dane

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HI all!
Fun to see how it all grows in here!

In 2009 I attended NaNoWriMo - I believe it was HealerOne et al, that got me interested in trying it!
A great novel was born, but my ambitions was way ahead of my knowledge to the craft, so that manuscript is waiting for me to be wiser!
Like ss19 I've had stories in my head all the time. I used to tell bedtime stories to my kid, preventing her from sleeping, as she got so excited, she couldn't sleep until she had the end! - a bit too imaginative?  :-[ - she was often allowed to stay awake until the story had ended!
In the Reading Groups on Leaky, I had some fun hours, learning to write all sorts of short texts, either they were a chapter summary, posts or the like. It was a time, where my eyes was opened about the 'craft' of writing - getting to the point for instance.

Now I have a novel, written during NaNoWriMo 2012, that I'm working on - editing and having a fun time of my life, when it comes to creating a story!
It started with one sentence in my head, about a half year before the NaNoWriMo, and then I had the end - although now the end has been run over by 9 more chapters! There wasn't enough for a second novel, but the first end was not enough either.
To make matters even worse, I'm writing in some kind of English (out of respect for the language, I'm not going to pretend it's really English, I'm writing!) - and I'm learning something new almost every day.
The novel is almost done! Some language issues has to be settled, or I'll translate into Danish (my language) and work on from there! I'm not sure, and it's a bit sad, if I can't go all the way in English! Well. I've asked the Universe to send me an editor, whenever it's time for it. I also need a few more facts that I'm seeking online, or asking specialists about.

It's really funny, Evreka, because opposite you, I always hated writing essays in school. I wrote them for my drawers, but really had problems with the single-track-minds of the teachers I've had. Only one of them, an elderly man (I imagine he was more than 40 - really really old  :dumbledore: ) could fathom what 'the-kid-me' was doing with the words and urged me to keep on working. Life, though, didn't see it that way, and so I'm almost 51 - almost witnessed the dinosaurs roaming the Earth - "That's not the color they had" !!! - and NOW I'm writing all that I can!

The funniest about the writing is, that I'm painting the story faster than I write it! Gives food for thought!

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March 25, 2013, 11:14:04 PM
Reply #4

HealerOne

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I have, however, recently become very interested in the writing and publication process because I have a close friend who's an aspiring author, plus a young daughter who says she wants to be an author when she grows up and seems very serious about it.  I look forward to hanging around this platform learning from all the writers among us!

The best thing you can do for your budding writer is give her encouragement, journals and pencil's (with erasers!). I find it very helpful when I know I have to live up to the expectations of others - in that they expect I have written more since the last time they asked!! It's just that little nudge that gets me to sit down and actually put those pictured stories in my head onto the paper! Make sure and stop by and keep us informed how your daughter and friend are doing - better yet - invite them to participate here!

So, while I am certainly no author, I love to write small pieces entirely for my own pleasure and/or The Quibbler. And I am very impressed by those who manages to write whole novels or even short stories that others can read.  :hermioneread:

Oh ho! Please don't say you are not a writer! I think putting out The Quibbler is a journalistic masterpiece! It takes just as much effort to write your stories (maybe more) than it does to write a short story! (At least admit you are a 'Journalist!' - That's the most fun thing at a party when someone asks what you do - "Oh I'm a writer!")

The funniest about the writing is, that I'm painting the story faster than I write it! Gives food for thought!

 ;D  :hug: I had to grin T-Dane at your post! I've seen your paintings! And now a writer! You are truly multi-talented! How wonderful to paint your next scene and then be able to write about it after. What a unique way to write!

I just want to ask a question - How do you all find time to write? It seems to be getting harder for me to have a block of time to write. I prefer to write in a cafe or where other people are becuase they give me some inspiration as I work. Any other suggestions for me?
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March 26, 2013, 08:36:37 AM
Reply #5

Maraudingdon

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This new platform is all kinds of wonderful, so thank you  :hearts:

I started writing seriously about four years ago. Before then I wrote for fun. I have no idea if my old Scribbulus essays are still around, but I certainly had fun writing them. I will forever remain convinced that "boil him in shampoo" inspired J.K. Rowling to add that line in DH!!

Over the past four years I have immersed myself in the publishing industry. It has certainly changed beyond all recognition in the past couple of years.

For those who are serious about publishing, if you ever want me to help with a query letter, then please ask. I am very happy to help out because I know how horrible the query trenches are. I'm forever thankful that I never have to do that again.

The final thing I want to add is never be afraid to call yourself "a writer" because if you write, you are one. Publication is the end game, but a writer just is.
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March 26, 2013, 11:17:35 AM
Reply #6

T-Dane

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For those who are serious about publishing, if you ever want me to help with a query letter, then please ask. I am very happy to help out because I know how horrible the query trenches are. I'm forever thankful that I never have to do that again.
Well, my first question to you will be this: What is a query letter?


[quote author =HealerOne]I just want to ask a question - How do you all find time to write? It seems to be getting harder for me to have a block of time to write. I prefer to write in a cafe or where other people are becuase they give me some inspiration as I work. Any other suggestions for me?[/quote]

Time is like money! You don't solve your time-problems with more time - like you don't solve money problems with more money! It's a question of prioritizing! Nature, however, provided me with a very helpful tool, as there's days and weeks - in winter even months, where I'm immobilized to a certain degree.
- and don't fret! I'm learning to appreciate the way life is knitting me a different but also very fulfilling life.
Plus I'm learning to meditate myself into awareness, that will be of great help on my darkest days.
The subjects I'm writing about is, for the time being, partly authobiography, although this time around, I'm kicking the living day light out of my demons! VERY FULFILLING INDEED!
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March 26, 2013, 03:29:01 PM
Reply #7

HealerOne

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So glad to see those who have already been published stop at our Whistle stop! I've learned so much in the last 2 years about the process of publishing, but I know I have lots to learn! You best watch out Maraudingdon as I may take you up on the query letter proposal! (Thanks for offering by the way!)

Well, my first question to you will be this: What is a query letter?
Well T-Dane, a Query Letter is that much maligned letter in which an author begs an agent to consider their book for representation. Well, not exactly, but that's the gist of it. In the publishing world it was/is (?) important to have an agent because they are the ones who have the publisher's ear and can negoiate a good deal for the author plus much more. A writer can send out one, or hundreds of agent query letters before they finds an agent that accepts their book. However in these days of ebooks there now is a debate whether an agent is necessary or not. Anyone want to weigh in on that?

I had to laugh at my last post about having time to write ... it wasn't more than a few hours afterwards that I just sat down at the computer, and intending to do some other stuff, I ended up writing one and a half chapters in the new book I am starting! Golly when the mood strikes, it realy hits me. Unfortunately, I got stuck and not having eaten in all that time - I decided on food over wrestling with my ideas. It's very weird this writing process for me. Mostly I sit and write with paper and pen; sometimes I write completely on the computer but not often; and occasionally I jot things down when I think of them. Honestly writing in a month with NaNoWriMo is a bit easier as you have a word count you have to get too each day. It gives you a framework to move through the story, but the editing afterwards is beastly. Writing when the muse strikes is harder I think... but the copy seems to be better.
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March 26, 2013, 05:10:04 PM
Reply #8

Maraudingdon

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So glad to see those who have already been published stop at our Whistle stop! I've learned so much in the last 2 years about the process of publishing, but I know I have lots to learn! You best watch out Maraudingdon as I may take you up on the query letter proposal! (Thanks for offering by the way!)
Well T-Dane, a Query Letter is that much maligned letter in which an author begs an agent to consider their book for representation. Well, not exactly, but that's the gist of it. In the publishing world it was/is (?) important to have an agent because they are the ones who have the publisher's ear and can negoiate a good deal for the author plus much more. A writer can send out one, or hundreds of agent query letters before they finds an agent that accepts their book. However in these days of ebooks there now is a debate whether an agent is necessary or not. Anyone want to weigh in on that?
.


There are two avenues open to those who want to get their writing published: self-publishing, and so called traditional publishing.

A query letter is required for traditional publishing because the vast majority of publishing houses like Harper or Random will not accept unsolicited manuscripts. So you need a literary agent. A writer will approach a literary agent with a query letter which is usually a one page outline of the premise, word count, genre, etc.

It is horribly, horribly difficult to get an agent. The top ones receive on average 50,000 queries a year, and from that will probably sign two or three new clients. The odds are vile. But if they like your query, you will be asked to submit your manuscript, either in full, or a partial. If they love it and believe they can sell it, you will get an offer of representation, but the odds...*shudders*...and it takes a long time to go through this process.

Last year, I finally managed to get a New York agent after three solid years of trying. Never give up, never surrender (to quote Galaxy Quest!), but if you want an agent, you will absolutely have to prepare yourself for rejection letters.

Because I like to keep my options open though, I have my agent for one YA series I am developing, but I self-publish another. I want to decide which way is best for me. Self-publishing is very time consuming because you have no safety net, and so everything has to be perfect first time. I have three critique partners who go through my entire manuscripts, then a line editor for grammar and punctuation, a book designer for my covers, and finally I do the formatting and coding myself to upload for sale to Amazon.

Both routes are very different. Writing a book is just the beginning. There are a million things that come after if you want to make the transition from writer to author.

More and more writers are choosing to self-publish though. For me, I love the ownership and freedom it provides. I have the final say on everything. Those writers who go with an agent for that elusive publishing contract are very much a cog in a much bigger machine.

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March 26, 2013, 08:55:27 PM
Reply #9

ss19

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Like ss19 I've had stories in my head all the time. I used to tell bedtime stories to my kid, preventing her from sleeping, as she got so excited, she couldn't sleep until she had the end! - a bit too imaginative?  :-[ - she was often allowed to stay awake until the story had ended!
I found this hilarious to read, how your bedtime stories prevented your daughter from sleeping! ;D I've only very rarely told a bedtime story that I made up on the spot.  Usually I'm so exhausted by bedtime that it's not possible to come up with a story like that so I rely on books instead.


The best thing you can do for your budding writer is give her encouragement, journals and pencil's (with erasers!). I find it very helpful when I know I have to live up to the expectations of others - in that they expect I have written more since the last time they asked!! It's just that little nudge that gets me to sit down and actually put those pictured stories in my head onto the paper! Make sure and stop by and keep us informed how your daughter and friend are doing - better yet - invite them to participate here!
Thank you very much for your advice, HealerOne.  It's most helpful. :) And yes, I will keep you informed.  I also have some specific questions I wanted to ask about encouraging young writers, and have started a separate thread on that here because it seems off-topic for this thread.

I have already invited the friend to this new platform, and hope that we'll see her post here at some point in the future.  The daughter is way too young to participate in online forums, unfortunately, being only 8, so we will have to wait a few years for that.


Self-publishing is very time consuming because you have no safety net, and so everything has to be perfect first time. I have three critique partners who go through my entire manuscripts, then a line editor for grammar and punctuation, a book designer for my covers, and finally I do the formatting and coding myself to upload for sale to Amazon.
So if you self-publish, are you limited to selling eBooks through Amazon, or can you sell paper books that way as well?  I mean, I imagine the cost might be prohibitive if you have to print a large number of books and not know whether they'd sell, but is it an option at all, or does Amazon not accept paper books from self-publishers?  I'm wondering if they might not want to deal with the cost of maintaining the inventory if they're not sure the books will sell.
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March 26, 2013, 10:14:46 PM
Reply #10

Evreka

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To make matters even worse, I'm writing in some kind of English (out of respect for the language, I'm not going to pretend it's really English, I'm writing!) - and I'm learning something new almost every day.
The novel is almost done! Some language issues has to be settled, or I'll translate into Danish (my language) and work on from there! I'm not sure, and it's a bit sad, if I can't go all the way in English! ...
That is actually another reason why I haven't tried to write my stories down. For some reason that I can no longer remember how it started, or why, or when... I nowadays tend to imagine my stories in English or "some kind of it" as T-Dane put it.  :harry: And if I was really seeking to write any of them down, the most reasonable approach would be to write in Swedish, the one language in the world that I truly master. And where my vocabulary knows no boundaries. However... the stories are all in English....  :o


The funniest about the writing is, that I'm painting the story faster than I write it! Gives food for thought!
That's often true for me as well (as in painting the story in my head), whenever I dream up material that I do write down. Skits or Quibbler stuff or whatever, even letters and sometimes posts. I usually end up with lots of "stubs" as in memos to myself during writing, and then when I get to that part I may or may not use them. Sometimes the flow of the piece going forward is taking on an entirely new direction and the supposed connection point to the earlier idea is lost.

Another thing I've noted is that if I make notes in a notebook (for example during commutes) drafting a Quibbler article, I need to try to transcribe it to a computer relatively soon, or I will loose the flow I had while taking notes. When I transcribe much later it sometimes lead to me finding another flow and the piece come out quite different from the notes (which might be beneficial sometimes) but mostly a delay leads to me over-analyzing it and trying to fix a better logic in it - which is contra-productive considering what it is supposed to become, and sometimes I loose the piece altogether.

So, while I am certainly no author, I love to write small pieces entirely for my own pleasure and/or The Quibbler. And I am very impressed by those who manages to write whole novels or even short stories that others can read.  :hermioneread:
Oh ho! Please don't say you are not a writer! I think putting out The Quibbler is a journalistic masterpiece! It takes just as much effort to write your stories (maybe more) than it does to write a short story! (At least admit you are a 'Journalist!' - That's the most fun thing at a party when someone asks what you do - "Oh I'm a writer!")
Thanks a lot!  :hug:

I just want to ask a question - How do you all find time to write? It seems to be getting harder for me to have a block of time to write. I prefer to write in a cafe or where other people are becuase they give me some inspiration as I work. Any other suggestions for me?
I've often used my approx 1 hour commutes either way to and from work to draw up ideas and possible stories for The Quibbler. While I think a lot better in front of a computer - at least it's much easier to rearrange written words - commutes are times where it's fun to let your imagination flow freely.  Of course this only works on buses or Underground or trains, not if you drive a car. But generally time frames where you are left to your own devices and can't really do much else could, possibly, be used for this?


I started writing seriously about four years ago. Before then I wrote for fun. I have no idea if my old Scribbulus essays are still around, but I certainly had fun writing them. I will forever remain convinced that "boil him in shampoo" inspired J.K. Rowling to add that line in DH!!
....

The final thing I want to add is never be afraid to call yourself "a writer" because if you write, you are one. Publication is the end game, but a writer just is.
So in just four years time you've written at least two books and got them published? WOW, that sounds very impressive in my ears!  :bravo: I hope you (and the other published writers here) present your books in the Published Pub.   :hermioneread:

And that last paragraph of yours is a very inspiring thing...  :hearts:

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March 27, 2013, 01:58:26 AM
Reply #11

pleshette

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I've always enjoyed writing but I never considered writing a novel until about four years ago. As a kid I'd type stories about my favorite stuffed animals on my mom's manual typewriter or make up comic strips. In my teens and early twenties I kept journals which I still have today. After discovering Harry Potter, and becoming involved in the Lily and Stag Reading Groups, I discovered a joy while writing and editing the chapter summaries which eventually lead to wanting to write for children myself. I've always preferred reading children's lit to adult lit, so this seemed like a natural progression.

I've started four children's novels so far, 3 middle grade and my current novel is a young adult, but haven't completed one yet which has been frustrating. My short-term goal is to finish my current manuscript by the summer. I'm about 17,000 words in, with a projected goal of 60K. I'm planning on participating in Camp NaNoWriMo next month to push myself each day. It's similar to November's NaNoWriMo, but it's a lot more flexible about writing goals. My long-term goal is to traditionally publish a novel. Maybe not my current one, but I really want to go through the query process, get feedback on my writing, and hopefully acquire an agent some day.  :)

I'm so excited to read about others here who love to write! Writing can be such a solitary endeavor, often filled with self-doubt. For me, one of the joys of writing has been discovering and participating in the online writing community. There are many wonderful blogs by writers (both published and unpublished) and agents which offer support and advice about writing and publication. I hope we can be a support system for each other here.  :)
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March 27, 2013, 08:45:47 AM
Reply #12

Maraudingdon

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So if you self-publish, are you limited to selling eBooks through Amazon, or can you sell paper books that way as well?  I mean, I imagine the cost might be prohibitive if you have to print a large number of books and not know whether they'd sell, but is it an option at all, or does Amazon not accept paper books from self-publishers?  I'm wondering if they might not want to deal with the cost of maintaining the inventory if they're not sure the books will sell.

At the moment I publish via Kindle Direct Publishing, which is the ebook section of Amazon. It's very user friendly once you know what you're doing, and the vast majority of authors self-publishing use this. From September 30th my first book will be available in paperback via Amazon as well.

Some people believe Amazon is the enemy. I don't think like that at all. I think Amazon has given the writer/author control over their own writing.

Example, a standard hardback costs $25 (approx) from a traditional publisher. Guess how much of that an author makes? Less than $1.50! The rest goes to the bookstore, the publishing house, the distributors, the agent...

The writer is the last one in the chain, and yet without the author, there is no book.

Now take a standard paperback self-published via CreateSpace (the print section of Amazon.) Say I charge $12 for my book. I will make more in royalties from that than a traditionally published author will from a book that costs $25. The reader gets a cheaper book, and the author makes more in royalties.

Publishing is changing, and the power is back with the writer. These are really exciting times.

So in just four years time you've written at least two books and got them published? WOW, that sounds very impressive in my ears!  :bravo: I hope you (and the other published writers here) present your books in the Published Pub.   :hermioneread:

And that last paragraph of yours is a very inspiring thing...  :hearts:


Thank you! In four years I've actually written four books! Two are published, number three is coming, and number four is with my agent. Number five is half finished - I need to pull my finger out and finish it by the end of June, that's my target. My agent keep asking for it, but I can only manage a chapter a week right now, lol.

*toddles off to the Published Pub* I hope butterbeer is served!
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March 27, 2013, 08:23:49 PM
Reply #13

HeleneB

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Maraudingdon, some of the issue with Amazon is their predatory approach to cutting out all their competitors. I belong to a number of writing groups and when the option of going with KDP first came up many were worried about taking their self-pubbed works from those other platforms. The challenge was that Amazon was, by far, their largest sellers. If they increased their sales even a little by doing KDP then they hadn't lost anything. But I know others who have been unimpressed with their results and pulled out after their initial 3-month enlistment.

I guess the question is what happens when Amazon has killed Barnes & Noble (looking at this from the American perspective)? Will Amazon be as accommodating when they're the only game in town?

And what's going to happen when Amazon starts selling used ebooks? Does the author still get a cut?

It will be interesting to see how all this plays out. It's an exciting time to be a writer. Getting published is now completely your decision.
Author of the Safe Harbors series and "Second Chances 101", a Ripple Effect Romance.
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March 30, 2013, 06:00:53 PM
Reply #14

aislinn

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I'm loving the discussion here! So interesting to see everyone's own experience with imagining and writing stories. Most of my writing has been essays or professionally based. I've edited essays for people, at Scribbulus and elsewhere. My experience in the world of fiction writing is also more on the support side of things. I have several friends who love to write, at least one of whom is soon to be published, and I do a lot of beta and line edit reading for those folks. It's fun to see a story take shape, and be able to offer input into plotting, characterization, and occasionally phrasing; and help polish spelling/grammar/punctuation. I'm so impressed with the way some people are able to translate their rich imaginations onto the page.

From what I've seen, writing, like many other skills, really benefits from sheer practice and repetition. The challenge for me is to write, knowing that I'm not going to be satisfied with the results, but that the only way to get more satisfied with them is to keep plugging away at it, to hone those skills through practice.
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March 30, 2013, 06:45:22 PM
Reply #15

HeleneB

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But you only get good by doing. Writing is one craft that you can learn a lot about but it's not until you're actually practicing that you realize. And, believe me, reading isn't enough of an education.

I've found that--for me--the real writing happens when I edit. And I can't edit something I haven't finished. That's one of the things I love about NaNoWriMo--National Novel Writing Month (I know this doesn't work for Maraudingdon). You have to turn off that internal editor in order to crank out 50,000 words in 30 days. I'm getting better at that. Last November I beat NaNo in 18 days. The reality is that my rough draft is really my outline. But everyone is different and has to find out what works for them. The key is to write.

Every day. It may not be on your manuscript, but you should be writing.

Here's one of my favorite inspirations when I'm feeling down on myself. I love this both visually and for what it tells me.

Ira Glass on Creativity
Author of the Safe Harbors series and "Second Chances 101", a Ripple Effect Romance.
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March 31, 2013, 09:10:38 PM
Reply #16

varza

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So what do you like to write? Fiction? Poetry? FanFic? Short Stories? Memoirs?
I write whatever comes to mind but mainly I am trying to finish my first full novel. Generally fiction is my cup of tea but I am still trying to find my nitch. I also have some screenplays I am working on. I recently too one of the scripts and put it into a short story for a writing contest at school. I used to write a ton of poetry but haven't in recent years. I have a historical fiction plot written down.

Where are you in your writing process? Thinking about writing? Have a complete manuscript and unsure what to do now? Already published? Multiply publications?
Working on the first finished novel. I have about 20 partially finished projects though that I plan to go back to one day.

What sparks your writing imagination?
Anything can spark it. A song, a moment, a thought or a what if... I have several ideas written down to go after at some point - about 20 to 30 ideas that I would love to flush out. The historical fiction I have planned was sparked by my husband researching his ancestry.

As for self-publishing... I am on the horse about it. I have read some and they were really bad and in desperate need of an editor.

While I see there is a good reason for doing it (some famous authors self-published at the start: Stephen Crane is one). I know a few authors who self-publish and one of the reasons they do is because they can get around the rejection and they don't want to deal with the work it takes to find an agent (a friend said this to me recently - it was too much work to put into finding an agent). I know this isn't all self-published authors.

As for the rejection letters - Stephen King had a nail on the wall off his bedroom (then his office) where he put all his rejection letters from the time he was a teen on. He would use them as inspiration to work on his writing. When he published his first book he threw them all out.

I like the idea of self-publishing for short stories that you aren't submitting to magazines and such (they generally won't accept previously published shorts). But like I said, anyone can self-publish... I wouldn't keep it as my only route for being a published writer.

I am not sure if this matters to anyone else but I talked to one of my professors since I want to maybe go for my PhD in Literature and she explained that to be a Professor it helps to have published books but they can't be self-published they have to be through a publishing house. I asked her this because I have been reworking some of my poetry and had been thinking about self-publishing just to say yes, I published something.

Post Merge: March 31, 2013, 09:12:23 PM
But you only get good by doing. Writing is one craft that you can learn a lot about but it's not until you're actually practicing that you realize. And, believe me, reading isn't enough of an education.

I've found that--for me--the real writing happens when I edit. And I can't edit something I haven't finished. That's one of the things I love about NaNoWriMo--National Novel Writing Month (I know this doesn't work for Maraudingdon). You have to turn off that internal editor in order to crank out 50,000 words in 30 days. I'm getting better at that. Last November I beat NaNo in 18 days. The reality is that my rough draft is really my outline. But everyone is different and has to find out what works for them. The key is to write.

Every day. It may not be on your manuscript, but you should be writing.

Here's one of my favorite inspirations when I'm feeling down on myself. I love this both visually and for what it tells me.

Ira Glass on Creativity
It helps - I haven't been able to work on my novel due to my school work load but I am writing constantly for class and I can see how my writing as well as my grammer has gotten better.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2013, 09:12:23 PM by varza »
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March 31, 2013, 09:39:47 PM
Reply #17

HeleneB

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I agree there's a lot of trash out there in the self-pubbing world, but I think there are some amazing books as well. I've seen some self-pubbers end up with contracts. One of the best books I read last year was self-pubbed. The key is making sure what you put out, if that's the route you go, is the very best product it can be for where you're at in your writing journey. Every book you write should be better than that last because you're continuing to learn and hone your craft. As your writing matures, the quality will improve. The key is not to give up.
Author of the Safe Harbors series and "Second Chances 101", a Ripple Effect Romance.
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March 31, 2013, 11:39:23 PM
Reply #18

varza

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I agree there's a lot of trash out there in the self-pubbing world, but I think there are some amazing books as well. I've seen some self-pubbers end up with contracts. One of the best books I read last year was self-pubbed. The key is making sure what you put out, if that's the route you go, is the very best product it can be for where you're at in your writing journey. Every book you write should be better than that last because you're continuing to learn and hone your craft. As your writing matures, the quality will improve. The key is not to give up.

Exactly! If you want find someone you trust look it over and help you edit. You can even contact a local college and see if they have anyone they know that is a student in the English department that you could hire to look over it. We have signs all over school with students who advertise editing help with anything from school to private paperss.

Its hard editing your own work sometimes, at least it is for me esp since I know how horrible I am with grammer and the such.

And like I said - some famous authors, classic ones, like yhe author Stephen Crane whom I mentioned earlier, began self-publishing and has some major classics under his name and we just read him in an American lit class.
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April 01, 2013, 07:36:46 AM
Reply #19

Maraudingdon

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I've found that--for me--the real writing happens when I edit. And I can't edit something I haven't finished. That's one of the things I love about NaNoWriMo--National Novel Writing Month (I know this doesn't work for Maraudingdon). You have to turn off that internal editor in order to crank out 50,000 words in 30 days. I'm getting better at that. Last November I beat NaNo in 18 days. The reality is that my rough draft is really my outline. But everyone is different and has to find out what works for them. The key is to write.

I really do admire those that manage NaNo. I would love to be able to word vomit, but I just can't! Doing it in 18 days is just outstanding, Eleni. Your keyboard must have been smoking.

Writers find their own groove, but I have to edit continously. The plus side is by the time I write THE END, a manuscript is in pretty decent condition already. The downside is that I can only manage a chapter a week of fresh writing, because I am constantly going back to previous chapters to tidy up.

I'm an OCD writer!
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