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Old 02-28-2013, 01:59 PM   #1
Destructus86
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Default Debating getting into writing...

So, I wrote a little sample thing that I wanted to get peoples opinions on. I wanted to judge my skill or lack there of...if I should bother writing or not. I mean, if I can't even make a few interesting paragraphs then I should probably not try writing a novel...

Be gentle...for my ego is frail. :P It's probably horrible....




CRASH!
The sound of trees shattering echoed throughout the dark, misty forest. Though the sun was out, it seldom touched the Woods of Pale Dream. A hooded figure moved swiftly, avoiding another set of trees that broke like twigs, bursting into splintered shrapnel. This time we can see what had been after the man. It was a giant tentacle with its body somewhere out of sight and deep in the woods. Luckily, the man was all too familiar with avoiding trouble as he gracefully dodged and avoided his attacker along with old fallen trees and large boulders covered in ancient moss. He moved like the wind, skillfully aware of where each foot stepped long before it ever hit the ground. He was a shadow within shadows, his every movement crafted from years of training, his name was Eorath and he had been at this sort of things for far too long it seemed. Eorath drew his short sword as he vaulted over another tree, a fallen remnant of what had once been a beautiful forest. Now nothing more than an irritant standing in the way of his survival and with a twist of his body he swung his blade. The cold, sharp steel sliced through the tentacle, segmenting the tip from the rest. A piercing screech tore through the air as it flailed about before quickly vanishing back into the darkness.

He didn’t allow himself to fall into ease because he knew that would not be the last danger he faced for the Woods of Pale Dream were cursed. Over centuries the story of how the curse came to be had changed but one truth always remained; most that entered never leave and those that leave never return without the madness. It had been some time since anyone dared enter and had Eorath had a choice he would not have done so either but what he had lost could not be returned to him. His only hope was at the black and vile heart of the forest; he had no choice now that he had come this far. He thought back to that moment of choice in an old tavern miles away and seemingly ages in the past at least that is how it felt. He could almost feel the warm of the fire in the hand built stone fireplace that greeted weary travelers with a sense of peace and a temporary freedom from their troubles. Perhaps the last pleasantry he would ever experience.

An older man with his face weathered and tired, a reflection of battles long since fought, sat near the warm hearth holding a mug of ale. It seemed he gain more comfort from the mug in his hands than than the casual gulps he took. Eorath took a seat across the table from him with his hood up, no sense in letting everyone in town see his face on the off chance he might be recognized for some of his less than lawful pursuits. “Ah, come to keep an old man company during these dark times?” The One-Eyed Man spoke, his voice creaked like a rusty wheel ready to retire. “You know why I’m here. Where’s the map?” Eorath responded shortly, he had come a long way and was in no mood to waste time with conversation, his task was set and would not be slowed.

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Old 03-01-2013, 06:26 AM   #2
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Default Re: Debating getting into writing...

This is pretty good, but more than that, you shouldn't be asking US if you should be a writer. Ask yourself that. Do you like writing? Then write. Do you not like writing? Then don't write. No one's outside opinion should stunt you.

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Old 03-01-2013, 06:28 AM   #3
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Default Re: Debating getting into writing...

Writers will tell you not to begin writing with the intent of it being your sole source of income. Many, like Stephen King, had mundane jobs and wrote as a hobby. King was an English teacher at a high school before he became famous; at the time he was writing Carrie.

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Old 03-01-2013, 06:45 AM   #4
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Default Re: Debating getting into writing...

Yeah, only hard work will get you somewhere if you want to be a writer. Or as Stephen King usually says: "write a lot and read a lot". Writing is not the glamorous job some people who dreams about it might think it is. Unless you're extremely lucky and creates something like Harry Potter, meaning you don't really have to work ever again after one or a few books

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Old 03-01-2013, 08:04 AM   #5
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Default Re: Debating getting into writing...

Yes...I'm sure it would be hard work and really, I don't plan to quit my day job. I just wanted to get some opinions on if it was "good" Or if I just lack that certain something that makes my writing interesting...something a person might actually want to read.

I come up with new stories every single day...I feel like I can't help but write. But wanting to write and writing something people will be interested in reading seem to be a big difference. I am writing mainly for myself but I would like to be able to entertain others too with storytelling. If that makes sense...

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Old 03-11-2013, 08:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: Debating getting into writing...

I'll offer some advice based on my experiences.

Your story is good but it's not fantastic... yet. You remind me of me 10 years ago, but if I had let my frail ego get the best of me, I'd have never moved beyond where I was then to where I am now (and to where I eventually hope to be). I'm going to share a little of my experiences and offer advice. It's not meant to be mean spirited. I hope to inspire you and at least give you an inkling of the amount of work it takes to really create quality writing for anybody and everybody.

1) Do not write for other people. Write for yourself. The reason for this is that other people will know when the writing is forced, or if you didn't enjoy writing the story. Make it a story that you love and enjoy it. Write it even if no one else will ever see it. Just love doing it.

JH Story #1 - When I write, I write what I want because I want to write it. I started writing fantasy, then young adult, then romance, then fantasy again, and now romance again. Whatever I'm in the mood to write, that's what I write. The reason is that when I try to please other people, my heart isn't into it and my writing suffers. Other people see that my writing suffers and they don't like it. So why am I trying to please them to begin with? Writing what I want to please myself has resulted in my developing a drive that keeps me writing for almost 20 hours a week on top of my full time day job.

For years I wrote for myself. I had other people read my work to help me improve but I didn't write for them. My goal was always to finish the story so that I could put it on my shelf and say, "I did that," even if no one else ever reads it and it's never published. The love that kept it going like that for years eventually led to my desire to perfect my writing (and I've never attented a single writing class... I barely passed English class in high school). Writing it because I love it encourages me to always strive to do better... and you'll need it if you want to reach a point of pleasing other people.


2) Do not be afraid of criticism... and harsh criticism. But if you love to write, and you want to do it because you love it, don't let anyone tell you you aren't good enough. Take that and learn from it. Allow the negativity to motivate you to grow as a writer, because if people are just sugar coating their opinions then there is nothing helping you improve. If a person tells you they don't like your writing, ask why. Their feedback can then help you fix a problem.

JH Story #2 - I wrote something similar to what you had posted (but much longer). It was the first 40 or so pages of a book I started writing back when I was right out of high school. I gave it to a college educated friend of mine and asked if he'd read it over and give me his thoughts. After reading it, he told me that I had creative ideas but that I lacked the talent. He then subtly aluded to me finding something else to occupy my time. I stopped writing for two years because of that, despite the fact that I always had ideas that I wanted to pay with. Fortunately, a fellow Hype-Poster read it two years later and encouraged me to continue. I've since finished 4 full novels and have self published 2 of them. I've gotten some really rude, harsh criticism after publishing them, but I didn't quit. I took that and figured out why they criticized it and I fixed it. I'm still fixing it, but at least I'm better now as a result of that criticism than I was before... and I can carry that with me into my next novel.


#3) Do NOT be afraid of long hours and hard work. Write your book. Rewrite your book. Edit it over and over and over again. Only through tons of practice and tons of editing will your story really start to pop. A comic book writer once said something along the lines of this: "It takes a writer 10,000 badly written pages before they reach their first good page." I was so discouraged by that when I first heard it but I feel it's true. But now that I'm getting to the point of being considered good, I'm grateful for those 10,000 pages because I learned a lot by writing them. And you know what? Those stories that I loved but just wasn't quite good enough... I went back and rewrote them and they are SO much better now as a result. Practice, practice, practice.... hard work, hard work, hard work.

JH Story #3 - I had a lot of people read my stuff and cringe, but then they would show me what I was doing wrong. Or they'd tell me why they didn't like it and I'd go online and look up how to correct it. I did this for about 6 years until I learned all I could from my friends and family, none of which were college educated or writers. They were simply readers. After that, I started googling everything. "What is the proper way to use a comma?" "What is the past tense form of Lay?" "What is the difference between elven, elvish, elfin, and elfish?" Etc. I go through edit after edit to continually improve the book. My first book, Cicada Song, has been read through and edited 8 times so far, and I just started my 9th round tonight because I realized I wasn't using commas properly (consistently). It sucks and gets REALLY old, but I'm so freaking proud of that book that I glow.

If you look at my reviews for Cicada Song on Amazon.com, you'll seem some harsh criticisms, and yet, as time goes by the rankings get better. That's because I published before it was really ready (after 5 or 6 rounds of edits). I continued editing them based on what people were saying and now I'm getting requests for more.

Don't be afraid of that hard work... especially if you'd like to share your book with people. The more work you do, the more they'll like it, the more they'll want to read.


These are just a few things to mention. I'm not trying to discourage you but ecourage you. To be completely honest, your story isn't bad, and your writing is a LOT better than mine was when I first started. I'd recommend restructuring your sentances so that they aren't all relatively the same length. A long sentance followed by a short one and then long again really helps the readability. Mix it up a bit. Also, something that took me years to even start looking into, and I wish I'd have done it from the beginning, work on your tense. You're writing in past tense but sometimes fall out of it, or are using it improperly. Do those two things and you'll already show a major improvement.

But yeah... keep on writing, man. Do it because you love it, grow as you do it, and just have a good time.

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Old 03-15-2013, 02:20 PM   #7
Destructus86
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Default Re: Debating getting into writing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JewishHobbit View Post
I'll offer some advice based on my experiences.

Your story is good but it's not fantastic... yet. You remind me of me 10 years ago, but if I had let my frail ego get the best of me, I'd have never moved beyond where I was then to where I am now (and to where I eventually hope to be). I'm going to share a little of my experiences and offer advice. It's not meant to be mean spirited. I hope to inspire you and at least give you an inkling of the amount of work it takes to really create quality writing for anybody and everybody.

1) Do not write for other people. Write for yourself. The reason for this is that other people will know when the writing is forced, or if you didn't enjoy writing the story. Make it a story that you love and enjoy it. Write it even if no one else will ever see it. Just love doing it.

JH Story #1 - When I write, I write what I want because I want to write it. I started writing fantasy, then young adult, then romance, then fantasy again, and now romance again. Whatever I'm in the mood to write, that's what I write. The reason is that when I try to please other people, my heart isn't into it and my writing suffers. Other people see that my writing suffers and they don't like it. So why am I trying to please them to begin with? Writing what I want to please myself has resulted in my developing a drive that keeps me writing for almost 20 hours a week on top of my full time day job.

For years I wrote for myself. I had other people read my work to help me improve but I didn't write for them. My goal was always to finish the story so that I could put it on my shelf and say, "I did that," even if no one else ever reads it and it's never published. The love that kept it going like that for years eventually led to my desire to perfect my writing (and I've never attented a single writing class... I barely passed English class in high school). Writing it because I love it encourages me to always strive to do better... and you'll need it if you want to reach a point of pleasing other people.


2) Do not be afraid of criticism... and harsh criticism. But if you love to write, and you want to do it because you love it, don't let anyone tell you you aren't good enough. Take that and learn from it. Allow the negativity to motivate you to grow as a writer, because if people are just sugar coating their opinions then there is nothing helping you improve. If a person tells you they don't like your writing, ask why. Their feedback can then help you fix a problem.

JH Story #2 - I wrote something similar to what you had posted (but much longer). It was the first 40 or so pages of a book I started writing back when I was right out of high school. I gave it to a college educated friend of mine and asked if he'd read it over and give me his thoughts. After reading it, he told me that I had creative ideas but that I lacked the talent. He then subtly aluded to me finding something else to occupy my time. I stopped writing for two years because of that, despite the fact that I always had ideas that I wanted to pay with. Fortunately, a fellow Hype-Poster read it two years later and encouraged me to continue. I've since finished 4 full novels and have self published 2 of them. I've gotten some really rude, harsh criticism after publishing them, but I didn't quit. I took that and figured out why they criticized it and I fixed it. I'm still fixing it, but at least I'm better now as a result of that criticism than I was before... and I can carry that with me into my next novel.


#3) Do NOT be afraid of long hours and hard work. Write your book. Rewrite your book. Edit it over and over and over again. Only through tons of practice and tons of editing will your story really start to pop. A comic book writer once said something along the lines of this: "It takes a writer 10,000 badly written pages before they reach their first good page." I was so discouraged by that when I first heard it but I feel it's true. But now that I'm getting to the point of being considered good, I'm grateful for those 10,000 pages because I learned a lot by writing them. And you know what? Those stories that I loved but just wasn't quite good enough... I went back and rewrote them and they are SO much better now as a result. Practice, practice, practice.... hard work, hard work, hard work.

JH Story #3 - I had a lot of people read my stuff and cringe, but then they would show me what I was doing wrong. Or they'd tell me why they didn't like it and I'd go online and look up how to correct it. I did this for about 6 years until I learned all I could from my friends and family, none of which were college educated or writers. They were simply readers. After that, I started googling everything. "What is the proper way to use a comma?" "What is the past tense form of Lay?" "What is the difference between elven, elvish, elfin, and elfish?" Etc. I go through edit after edit to continually improve the book. My first book, Cicada Song, has been read through and edited 8 times so far, and I just started my 9th round tonight because I realized I wasn't using commas properly (consistently). It sucks and gets REALLY old, but I'm so freaking proud of that book that I glow.

If you look at my reviews for Cicada Song on Amazon.com, you'll seem some harsh criticisms, and yet, as time goes by the rankings get better. That's because I published before it was really ready (after 5 or 6 rounds of edits). I continued editing them based on what people were saying and now I'm getting requests for more.

Don't be afraid of that hard work... especially if you'd like to share your book with people. The more work you do, the more they'll like it, the more they'll want to read.


These are just a few things to mention. I'm not trying to discourage you but ecourage you. To be completely honest, your story isn't bad, and your writing is a LOT better than mine was when I first started. I'd recommend restructuring your sentances so that they aren't all relatively the same length. A long sentance followed by a short one and then long again really helps the readability. Mix it up a bit. Also, something that took me years to even start looking into, and I wish I'd have done it from the beginning, work on your tense. You're writing in past tense but sometimes fall out of it, or are using it improperly. Do those two things and you'll already show a major improvement.

But yeah... keep on writing, man. Do it because you love it, grow as you do it, and just have a good time.
WOW! Thanks for that advice! Seriously, this stuff is gold. I really appreciate it. Yeah! haha...I know...I have issues with tense. I'll have to keep a much closer eye on it. And thanks for the tip on readability! That is something I never would have even thought of or considered.

I'll keep with it.

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Old 03-15-2013, 08:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: Debating getting into writing...

I taught myself how to write in present tense and then realized that I should be writing in past tense and had to retrain myself. For a couple books I was horrible at swinging from one tense to the other. The more you write the more you'll grow and realize what things you're doing wrong... but when you realize it, you grow as a writer.

I'm still learning and get frustrated at times, but when I look at my current work compared to my earliest work I get very proud of how much I've grown.

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Old 03-15-2013, 08:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: Debating getting into writing...

Present tense is good in speculative fiction, which seems to thrive mostly on past tense. PT grabs the attention a bit moreso.

OP: Do minimal research; just get your draft done. Then go back and add your researched data.

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