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I want to be a good Author.... - June 6th 2014, 11:44 PM

I been trying to write my own young adult novel, been posting it on fictionpress.com and I got one review. It wasn't bad the person wanted to read more. But, when I posted the full manuscript on this other website someone left a review on there too, saying that the plot was good, the dialog between characters was good but I needed to be more descriptive and that I need to use big words. I know this may not be the place to ask but how can I improve because when I do something like this I feel like I am or whatever I work is never good enough ....My dream is to become a well known author and maybe some day have my book become a movie. But its not only for the fame, I love reading books and creating my own ideas. But once I get them on paper I feel that they are stupid or that I'm copying someone.


Edgar Allen Poe "And so all the night-tide, I lie down by the side of my darling-my darling-my life and my bride, in the sepulcher there by the sea".
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Re: I want to be a good Author.... - June 7th 2014, 06:56 PM

Okay, first thing. If you want a specific story to be published, posting it online makes it a little more difficult. I would suggest taking some creative writing classes if you can. Practice and practice and practice some more, try new ways of writing.



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Re: I want to be a good Author.... - June 7th 2014, 07:08 PM

I understand your problems here. Like you, I also love to write and read, but all writers start out somewhere. The main thing to do is practice. Take a notebook and pen with you wherever you go. If description is your weak point, try sitting in a park or at the beach, or even in any regular place you might be (like a cafe or school), and just describe what is around you. If you're using a computer when you do this, especially if you're using Word, there is also an option if you right click on a word to check for synonyms. When I was doing my GCSEs, my main problem was I overused words, and so I started using this feature and it enhanced my vocabulary and I would know, for the future, of other words that say the same thing. It just keeps the work a bit more interesting.

Another thing I've seen around that helps is to keep a diary/journal and use it like a first person story. For example, if you've had a really ordinary day, at the end of it, write about it in an extraordinary way. Use words that make normal things sound beautiful and just practice sentences and words. Writing is a creative thing. The rules can be bent and twisted to fit the way you want the narrative to go. Use short sentences for dramatic effect and sandwich them in between longer ones to make it sharper. Just play around with it and don't take it too seriously. The more writing you do and the more used to doing it you get, the better you'll be over time.

You can also do unofficial NaNoWriMos of your own. What I mean by this is choose a month inside or outside of the official November NaNo, and aim to write 50,000 words in that time. Try and stick to it as this will help you with length and motivation. The better you get and sticking to targets the easier you will find it to write. This is also useful because it reminds you that not everything you write has to be amazing the very first time you write it. Aim to write around 2,000 words a day of first draft text. Don't worry too much about spell check or grammar, just write what comes into your head. The point is that you can come back to it all in the future and change whatever you want and make it sound, look or feel more fluent with the rest of the story.

Finally, the best way to learn is to learn from others. Try to read books from a range of genres and authors so that you can pick up on various writing styles and vocabulary and adapt it into your own work. Some of the best inspiration can come from other work. I know it has helped me in the past with structure and the like, so I'd highly recommend trying to read every day or a few times a week so that you have a range of knowledge of literature.

The main thing to remember is that writing shouldn't be a chore. It's a hobby that you need to practice before you're a well known author. Having these ambitions is a great way to motivate you to keep at it, but don't let them put you off. Nobody is perfect and there will always be reviews telling you things to improve on. Choose to view them as constructive criticism rather than put downs. All of the best authors get bad reviews, but the point is that they keep going because they're passionate about writing and their characters and plots. So keep at it! Make it fun.

I hope this helped a bit! Feel free to PM me or something if you need any more help.


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Re: I want to be a good Author.... - June 7th 2014, 08:48 PM

Well, that doesn't sound like bad feedback to me. You're young and everyone needs to improve. Take a look at your writing. Is it really lacking in those things that reviewer said? If it is, are they things that you could have included but didn't do it for a reason or are they things that would have made your story better? Are they things you struggle with? If so, you may just need to practice more. Writing, like any other activity, is something that gets better the more you practice.

As long as you aren't ripping anyone off, learn from your favorite authors too. Study their style and the way they write, even authors you don't like.

Joining a forum or online group to discuss writing can be helpful, and take a creative writing class if you can since that can help too.

Don't be discouraged. Even authors that are massively popular don't please everyone, so try to improve wherever you can, but keep in mind nobody's perfect and don't give up.

Regarding posting stuff online, it's a complicated thing really. In general, posting stories online can make it harder to get them published since many publishers want to have first publication rights so they prefer to publish material that hasn't been published before. However, some newer authors (if you're writing YA especially) have been discovered through publishing their stories online and gathering an online following that means they'll have potential buyers if they publish a book. Publishing online can also be an issue because some people may steal your work. However, since you're starting out, I don't see anything wrong with posting things you're writing for fun and practice just to improve and get feedback. It depends on the situation really.


   
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Re: I want to be a good Author.... - June 8th 2014, 04:45 PM

I also understand your problem too. First of all, have you ever shown anyone else your story before putting it up online? Maybe you could try getting some feedback perhaps from your friends, family, or an English teacher. I know that its summer now and it might be a bit difficult to get in touch with a teacher, but you could send them a polite email asking them to review your writing? I also agree with taking creative writing courses. There are many ways to expand your knowledge of creativity as well as resources for creative writing classes. I would recommend looking up some on YouTube.

Anyways, try not to stress too much about your writing. I'm sure you are an amazing writer and will make a great author someday but don't lose hope in yourself. Have confidence and you will get great ideas. Keep your eyes and ears open and you will find a source of inspiration to begin. Hope this helps and wish you all the very best with your writing!


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Re: I want to be a good Author.... - June 9th 2014, 01:15 AM

Thank you all for the advice. But I am not in school, graduated some years ago. But I want to keep writing and I want to some day be published, but its the problem that I feel like nothing I write is good enough and that I dont know how to get my story critiqued and all that.


Edgar Allen Poe "And so all the night-tide, I lie down by the side of my darling-my darling-my life and my bride, in the sepulcher there by the sea".
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Re: I want to be a good Author.... - June 9th 2014, 01:49 AM

Well, just because you are not in school any longer does not mean you can't go back in order to be able to improve upon your writing skills. I've been taking creative writing courses just for the hell of it and I find that getting professional feedback, as well as the feed back from your peers, is super helpful.

Additionally, I suppose you can just sit down and write, but think about what you want to right for a minute. Is it 1 novel? Are you shooting for a series? Do you want to write mysteries or science fiction or fantasy? Or do you want to combine genres? Do you want to write for young adults, children or adults? Do you want to appeal to a wide audience (like Harry Potter) or a dominantly female audience (like the Twilight series)?

Lastly, you have to come up with a plot. It's simple to think you know a character, but if you don't plan a characters development throughout a series you lose the opportunity to show them grow, you also lose the opportunity to describe their behaviours. And it's not as simple as you would think to write something very descriptively if you don't have an in depth plan for characters or events. So, for example, my character was recently shot by her ex boyfriend. Definitely not simple: but I don't even need to tell a story of what happened to give a background here, he used her, he's an extremely manipulative sociopath who fell in with the wrong crowd and tries to kill her out of revenge. Now it's a lot more complicated then that (hey, I'm not giving you all my ideas), buuuuut by knowing what motivates him to try to kill her and by knowing how she feels about him and her motivations for how she behaves towards him enables me to describe the scene where he shoots her in a particular way, which is a way that no other person will describe an abusive/manipulative boyfriend because it's MY back story and not theirs.... So you need to constantly remember where people come from, what their motivations are, and why it is of importance for a story. It's highly unlikely your readers will ever need a detailed description of your characters breakfast. Unless... wait, did the milk in the cereal taste funny? Nah, it's probably just old, so she dumps it in the sink... But suddenly she's in the hospital later, and, oh no, she's been poisoned, oh the horror, must have been that funny tasting milk... But it is more likely that the awkward meeting between your character and her ex boyfriend is more important. Now, I personally would never just drop some random dude in there out of the blue, so more than likely your audience already knows that he exists, but you would need to look at what she's feeling, if the past is rushing back, if she's happy, sad, confused, conflicted etc. maybe him asking her how she is makes her bristle like an angry dog. Why? Because he should just know she's doing horribly? But how could he, she ran away from home, not that she cares, he should know life sucks for her and he's not that stupid, so urgh what a jerk (but more eloquently, ok), but then of course, you don't know what his motivation is if it is written from her view, so therefore, what's his plan? Why is he there? Unless his returning to the story serves some purpose (evil minion or Han Solo like love interest to serve as a distraction from something) then there is no point in wasting words on him if he doesn't really need to be there...

I know this is all very rambly.

Also, reading a lot and thinking of ways to describe things helps. Reading introduces you to new ways of seeing and thinking, and just thinking of your own time does a lot too.

Lastly, writing classes.




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