Hello! I'm a newbie to this site, these forums and writing! I have been an avid reader since I was a child, and can easily devour an entire novel in a day. My favourite authors so far have been Anne McCaffery (May she RIP), Martin Middleton, David Eddings, Raymond E. Feist and Frank Peretti. I also quite enjoy Francine Rivers and occasionally, when the mood takes me, Danielle Steel. Actually, I could probably add quite a few authors to that short list.
I have never written a novel or even a short story before, apart from whatever is required in school, of which I don't remember, however I've had an idea rattling around in my head for some time now, and thought it is probably time I do something about it.
I admit I have no idea what I'm doing. Completely and utterly new at this. I have so far written about 4000 words, but I don't really have a plan at the moment. I'm writing out of the overflow of my own creativity. I decided to become a trial member here just to see what kinds of things are on offer for newbies such as myself, and get some tips on how to progress and improve.
I'd appreciate any advice and tips anyone has to give!
Welcome to WriteWords.
Everyone has to start somewhere and four thousand words is fantastic.
What is your genre? I see your favourite reading genre is Fantasy and Sci-fi (I've read David Eddings and Raymond E Feist - love The Magician as its my favourite book - but my favourite author is Terry Brooks).
My favourite genres are Sci-Fi Fantasy and Historical but I write women's fiction/women in jeopardy.
I guess I'd say keep writing, keep reading and then learn some of the technical aspects of creative writing. WW has some great critique groups, advice on the technical aspects on writing and is brilliant for support, so make the most of all the fab people here.
Thanks for your reply! I'm currently writing a Fantasy story which I hope (if it doesn't go against any unwritten writer's laws) to turn into sci-fi. So almost a combination of both; starting out as pure fantasy (magicians, swords etc) and ending with high-tech space ships.
I have a vague idea of where I want the story to go. I just don't have any plan or structure written down as yet. I wouldn't even know how to do that.
I do have plans to enroll in a creative writing course at our local college after I've done my web design course, so hopefully that'll help me considerably.
Terry Edge on here writes and understands the Sci-Fi genre. There's also a writing convention dedicated to this.
Terry Brooks started out with the Shannara books in a Medieval setting (except it was the future after the demons and war shown in the Word and the Void series). Towards the end of the Shannara series, it had moved onto airships and robots, but still linked to the world that had gone before.
A creative writing course sounds great. Your web design course will also be of interest to many on here.
I have a number of Terry's Shannara books here, and I love them as well. I haven't read all of his work. I've been very slowly increasing the size of my library. I've been thinking of buying a Kindle, but there's just something about holding a novel in your hands and smelling that paper smell.
Out of curiosity, how will my web design skills (when I aquire them!) be helpful to folk here?
Hi LindaGraver, and welcome to WW.
Your 4000 words sounds great. Definitely time to keep writing and see what you get - what story is emerging, who the characters are, what sort of a creature this project is becoming.
Once you know what the story is and what you're trying to say, and you've got lots of words on the page, you can start shaping them and re-working them to tell the story better and more excitingly.
Hopefully the course will give you some ideas of how to do this, and maybe get you trying some things you might not have tried otherwise. Exciting stuff!
Thank you! I'm actually pretty excited about this project. I admit, however, I'm finding it difficult to find folk among my circle of friends who are willing to stick it out with me and give good constructive feedback. Those of my friends who have a firm grasp of the English language, don't like the genre. Those who like the genre, don't have the time.
I think, for now, I'll just write and write and write and worry about proof reading later. Although it would be nice to know if what I've written so far is worth continuing.
|Out of curiosity, how will my web design skills (when I aquire them!) be helpful to folk here?|
In Private Members there is at least five-six posts a year with queries about websites, website design, etc. We have a couple of technical bods who can answer questions, but if you became a member you'd be loved for your website design knowledge.Edited by Sharley at 21:07:00 on 24 August 2013
there 'are' at least!
Thanks Sharley. I'll definitely keep that in mind
If you write short stuff -- really short I mean -- Flash Fiction is an excellent forum.
Where short fiction is concerned, you're blessed by writing SF/Fantasy. There are far more markets in this genre than for any other, ranging from low-to-no pay (some respected, some not so) to several pro-markets, including high-paying ones such as Arc in the UK. 4,000 words is a good length, in that it gives you scope to submit to the majority of markets (word limits tend to be under 5,000 and some, like Clarkesworld, see 4,000 as the ideal length).
Market information can be found at Duotrope (although they now charge a yearly fee for the full information - still worth it, in my view) which covers all genres or Ralan which focuses on SF/Fantasy/Horror and is free.
If you can stretch to it and/or arrange a holiday around it, I'd strongly recommend attending one of the US SF/Fantasy courses. They will give you a great grounding in writing technique as well as invaluable contacts and almost certainly some great new friends. The 6-week courses such as Odyssey and the two Clarions are the Rolls Royces of courses but there are also some excellent ones that last a few days, like Viable Paradise. Check out the SFWA's website for further info (very good for lots of other info too) and Ansible in the UK.
We don't have much in the UK by way of good SF/Fantasy workshops. Once you've made your first sale, you could attend the Milford SF Writers' workshop which meets every year for a week in Snowdonia. It's hard work but great fun, especially the boozy evening sessions in the library. If you can get to London once a month, it might also be worth applying to the T-Party workshop: if you haven't had a sale, you can send in an audition piece (but get it right first!).
If you're struggling with plot, this may help:
And don't forget to sign up for World FantasyCon this year and LonCon next year!
Thank you very much. This is very helpful. The story I'm writing at the moment I'm hoping to develop into a full length novel... perhaps even with sequels. I know it's probably ambitious for my first attempt, but aim high, right? If, as I progress, it looks like I may run out of steam, I'll see about culling it down and making it into a short story instead.
I will definitely keep in mind the need for Sci-fi/fantasy short stories in the current market. I know of quite a number of well known authors who started off with short stories in that genre. Authors who I have a deep respect for.
Not sure if I can manage a holiday to the US, but who knows what the future brings. I'll start off with a creative writing course at my local university and go from there.
|My favourite genres are Sci-Fi Fantasy ...|
Well, I'll be blowed, Sharley. All these years and I never knew that.
Edited by Manusha at 17:52:00 on 13 September 2013
Sorry, meant to come on here to say welcome to WW, Linda. I hope you enjoy the wonderful and wild world of writing. It can be a welaxing, wambunctious and thoroughly weird pastime!
|Well, I'll be blowed, Sharley. All these years and I never knew that.|
You should see my bookcase! There's an offer