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  1. #11
    Member Mish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theglasshouse View Post
    Flash is a new trend. It could be what you should try because it is short and will test your skills as a writer and prepare you. Craft is important. Because you must learn everything you can.

    I suggest you subscribe to new scientist which is expensive. It costs 100 dollars a year. But many writers swear by it in science fiction. Many famous writers turn to it for inspiration who are not scientists.

    Reading the character based science fiction is my main interest. I would ask writers who have read more than you what to read if you have interest in learning about conventions and even try doing what has been done before in a different way. That is also to find what is considered the best science fiction stories. I like less plot based fiction. I do want to focus on that kind of plotting and type of story. To know what was done before you can always consult the online encyclopedia of science fiction by John Clute.
    Hi Theglasshouse,

    Thank you for the thoughtful response and useful advice. So many resources to explore, just what I was looking for!

    Just out of curiosity, if you like less plot based fiction, does that mean you are more into character based fiction?

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Mish View Post
    Hi JustRob,

    Thank you for your time, for welcoming me and for the thoughtful response to my questions. It was inspiring to read your personal story and your writing experience.

    ...

    To answer your last question. I used to write stories as a hobby because I like writing. Now, I find myself writing stories that directly relate to my personal experience. It goes something like this; I have a problem>Wait, others experience this problem too, it is a universal problem!>How will we <humanity> attempt to solve this kind of problem in the future>Bingo, here is the story!

    I found if I follow the above script, my writing remains interesting to me and hopefully relevant to others. Can that be monetasied? If yes, then goals of all three tiers are achieved. If not, then achieving goals of two tiers will do.
    Thank you in turn for responding so comprehensively to our remarks.

    So if your stories are inspired by your own experiences but you write science fiction, is this about things that could possibly happen in the future or that are most unlikely to? On the other hand do you write about future efforts by mankind to solve its problems that fail because they are impractical? Hopefully we will soon see an example of your work to judge for ourselves.

    By the way, my solitary novel was about people being able to acquire information from the future. Since writing it I have discovered that it was apparently inspired by events in my own future at the time that I wrote it. Readers of it regard it as science fiction, but I don't any more. My signature below states that sharing an experience creates a reality, but what reality was it that I created or was it always there anyway?

    As you are most likely aware, writing is as much about forming one's own personal philosophy as anything. In fact in the past "literary and philosophical" societies were popular in Britain and they created substantial private libraries for their members to share ideas, but now we have the Internet instead. One reader of my novel was a present day member of such a society and after reading the novel he asked me to let him know when I wrote the next one, which is unlikely ever to happen. You clearly want not just to write but to share ideas in this way. There are quite a few threads here that do just that as writers need to share, test out and expand on their ideas even before they conceive a work to write.
    'Sharing an experience creates a reality.' Create a new reality today.
    'There has to be some give and take.' If I can take my time I'm willing to give it.
    'The most difficult criticism that a writer has to comprehend is silence.' So speak up.

  3. #13
    What tips do you have for being active on social media? Do you recommend creating a new account just for writing on all platforms (Twitter, Facebook, what else?) to keep it separate from personal?
    Social media can be a lot of fun, but also time-consuming. But it's not just about what you post but what others post too. You're not going to get very far if all you're doing is posting on your timeline about yourself: you have to respond to what other people post on theirs. Its how you build those relations. Me? I'll post maybe one post every two days on my timeline, but spend time more talking to people on their timelines and in the groups I've joined. But I hate talking writing anyway, so it's easier to talk away from that, about reading, family, life, etc. I'm hard politics, but you step into that with caution on social media!

    Some social sites don't like you using a pen name for your private accounts, but you can create pages in your author name. However, I have a pen name for most of my accounts, to be honest. I like the anonymity.

    What is your genre? And what works for you? (it's okay if it won't work for me, I'd like to know anyway)
    I'm psych thrillers, paranormal, BDSM, and also contemporary, all within dark MM romance. I started pretty much like everyone else: writing, going through the submission process, waiting for yay or nays. Then when it came to platforms and reviewing... I didn't. It's hard for a new writer to get noticed, so I didn't send out any review requests or ARCs (advanced reader copies), neither did my publishing company. We just waited to see what would happen. I hadn't even gotten a website at that point. So whilst I waited, I made a website, joined Goodreads, Facebook, etc, then... waited some more lol. I kept seeing people say they wanted to read my novel, but because no one else had, they were worried about picking it up. Then a lovely lass from a reviewing company took a chance on it on Goodreads, and it kind of exploded from there. She really got the word out after that. Word of mouth from readers always does work best. But our community is pretty special, where authors/reviewers/readers look out for new people on the scene. Now I'm at a comfortable place where I can send out ARC packs to reviewing companies and they'll take my work on. How I find those sites? I've set up a FB group, a reviewing blog directory, for reviewers to put their submission details down for authors. Other authors have access to it in our genre, as it's a free resource. There's nothing stopping any author from doing the same.

    1. Who are the key players in this trade that should be influenced? (publishers, editors, readers, reviewers?)
    2. What are acceptable ways of influencing them? (e.g. showing up at the publisher's office with the bosses favourite bottle of wine, is that acceptable or creepy?
    Just write a good story and be professional. That will target all of the above.

    I would like to know, which publishers are keen on new authors? Which publishers are keen on shot stories? What has worked for you personally?
    Most publishers are keen to take on new authors if the story is good. They're looking for a good investment, so you have to be damn good at what you do. Some won't take on new authors, but that's only because they accept queries from agents. That just means you need to get an agent first.

    Hope that helps a little. It's a long and tough process: a lot of waiiting, then nearly drowning with how quick some things can move.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by JustRob View Post
    Thank you in turn for responding so comprehensively to our remarks.
    It's really good to see, isn't it? Shows a lot of determination with wanting to get on in the craft and get it right.

  5. #15
    Member Mish's Avatar
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    Hi JustRob,

    Thank you for your response once again.

    Quote Originally Posted by JustRob View Post
    Thank you in turn for responding so comprehensively to our remarks.

    So if your stories are inspired by your own experiences but you write science fiction, is this about things that could possibly happen in the future or that are most unlikely to? On the other hand do you write about future efforts by mankind to solve its problems that fail because they are impractical? Hopefully we will soon see an example of your work to judge for ourselves.
    They are more about universal experiences and human behaviour / human nature, that change very little over time. On political level we appear to be even going backwards. (which coincidentally is the title of Depeche Mode's great, last hit song) Our technology however has advanced considerably over the last couple of decades so we find ourselves in an interesting situation where we attempt to solve our age old problems with the latest technology, often ill equipped to get those problems resolved. Our current trend is towards efficiency, AI and automation, but is that always the best way to deal with the human condition? Black Mirror is a great TV show that often hits this narrative head on quite successfully and I take a lot of inspiration from that.

    I look forward to posting some of my work soon for a review. I remember reading somewhere that 1,500 words (roughly two A4 pages) or less is the recommended amount to post. So what would be a recommended way for someone to post a 7 page short story for a review? (e.g. post it in chunks of two pages if there is demand or just the first two pages and nothing else?)

    Quote Originally Posted by JustRob View Post
    By the way, my solitary novel was about people being able to acquire information from the future. Since writing it I have discovered that it was apparently inspired by events in my own future at the time that I wrote it. Readers of it regard it as science fiction, but I don't any more. My signature below states that sharing an experience creates a reality, but what reality was it that I created or was it always there anyway?

    As you are most likely aware, writing is as much about forming one's own personal philosophy as anything. In fact in the past "literary and philosophical" societies were popular in Britain and they created substantial private libraries for their members to share ideas, but now we have the Internet instead. One reader of my novel was a present day member of such a society and after reading the novel he asked me to let him know when I wrote the next one, which is unlikely ever to happen. You clearly want not just to write but to share ideas in this way. There are quite a few threads here that do just that as writers need to share, test out and expand on their ideas even before they conceive a work to write.
    Thank you for this background information. Interesting question about reality. I suppose, our reality is our perception meaning that our realities are quite different when seen from the eyes of others. Ten people looking at the same black box on the table will probably see ten different things. A present to some, a piece of rubbish to others.

    I'm looking forward to sharing ideas on the threads here, it is one of the main reasons why I joined.

    Also, do you have a link to where I can find your novel?
    Last edited by Mish; June 14th, 2019 at 02:04 AM.

  6. #16
    Member Mish's Avatar
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    Hi Aquilo,

    Thank you once again for your relevant and comprehensive response.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquilo View Post
    Social media can be a lot of fun, but also time-consuming. But it's not just about what you post but what others post too. You're not going to get very far if all you're doing is posting on your timeline about yourself: you have to respond to what other people post on theirs. Its how you build those relations. Me? I'll post maybe one post every two days on my timeline, but spend time more talking to people on their timelines and in the groups I've joined. But I hate talking writing anyway, so it's easier to talk away from that, about reading, family, life, etc. I'm hard politics, but you step into that with caution on social media!

    Some social sites don't like you using a pen name for your private accounts, but you can create pages in your author name. However, I have a pen name for most of my accounts, to be honest. I like the anonymity.
    I think this is good advice. What social media do you use in your strategy? (apart from Facebook)

    I agree with you regarding approaching social media with caution, it can be a dynamite or a minefield. (especially when it comes to politics) I haven't yet decided how to approach this, even though I agree it is very important.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquilo View Post
    I'm psych thrillers, paranormal, BDSM, and also contemporary, all within dark MM romance. I started pretty much like everyone else: writing, going through the submission process, waiting for yay or nays. Then when it came to platforms and reviewing... I didn't. It's hard for a new writer to get noticed, so I didn't send out any review requests or ARCs (advanced reader copies), neither did my publishing company. We just waited to see what would happen. I hadn't even gotten a website at that point. So whilst I waited, I made a website, joined Goodreads, Facebook, etc, then... waited some more lol. I kept seeing people say they wanted to read my novel, but because no one else had, they were worried about picking it up. Then a lovely lass from a reviewing company took a chance on it on Goodreads, and it kind of exploded from there. She really got the word out after that. Word of mouth from readers always does work best. But our community is pretty special, where authors/reviewers/readers look out for new people on the scene. Now I'm at a comfortable place where I can send out ARC packs to reviewing companies and they'll take my work on. How I find those sites? I've set up a FB group, a reviewing blog directory, for reviewers to put their submission details down for authors. Other authors have access to it in our genre, as it's a free resource. There's nothing stopping any author from doing the same.
    Would you recommend for a new writer to go through a similar processes you described for experience or shortcut through some of that?

    Also, psych thrillers sound interesting. Could you please share a link to one written by you I can have a look at?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquilo View Post
    Most publishers are keen to take on new authors if the story is good. They're looking for a good investment, so you have to be damn good at what you do. Some won't take on new authors, but that's only because they accept queries from agents. That just means you need to get an agent first.

    Hope that helps a little. It's a long and tough process: a lot of waiiting, then nearly drowning with how quick some things can move.
    Every bit of advice and information is helpful. In the very least in shaping the expectations. So thank you for your help!

    I hope if I ever get to a stage where I am "damn good at what I do" someone here will point it out so I can take it to the next level.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Mish View Post
    Hi Theglasshouse,

    Thank you for the thoughtful response and useful advice. So many resources to explore, just what I was looking for!

    Just out of curiosity, if you like less plot based fiction, does that mean you are more into character based fiction?
    Hello Mish. Thanks for replying. I enjoy character based fiction more. So yes I do prefer it. My favorite science fiction I have read so far is character based. I get golden age science fiction was pulp. But I for example read a lot of fiction written during that "golden age" of science fiction. Alfred Bester and Roger Zelany, I read a lot of their work. Ray Bradbury was recommended to me. As was Matheson, and that is what I plan to be reading. Reading character based science fiction made me want to write it. It made me a fan.
    I would follow as in believe in the words of good moral leaders. Rather than the beliefs of oneself.
    The most difficult thing for a writer to comprehend is to experience silence, so speak up. (quoted from a member)

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Mish View Post
    Hi JustRob,

    Thank you for your response once again.



    They are more about universal experiences and human behaviour / human nature, that change very little over time. On political level we appear to be even going backwards. (which coincidentally is the title of Depeche Mode's great, last hit song) Our technology however has advanced considerably over the last couple of decades so we find ourselves in an interesting situation where we attempt to solve our age old problems with the latest technology, often ill equipped to get those problems resolved. Our current trend is towards efficiency, AI and automation, but is that always the best way to deal with the human condition? Black Mirror is a great TV show that often hits this narrative head on quite successfully and I take a lot of inspiration from that.
    The discussion in the thread below will probably interest you. It addresses the idea that science fiction is often just a context within which to explore the human condition.

    Science Fiction is Not About Science

    I look forward to posting some of my work soon for a review. I remember reading somewhere that 1,500 words (roughly two A4 pages) or less is the recommended amount to post. So what would be a recommended way for someone to post a 7 page short story for a review? (e.g. post it in chunks of two pages if there is demand or just the first two pages and nothing else?)
    When I joined WF I posted the entire first chapter of my novel for comment and nobody complained. The original version of 5320 words is HERE and then later I posted a revised version of 6900 words HERE in the same thread. The answer is therefore to do what you feel is reasonable and see how people respond. If you take too many liberties someone will warn you about it, but gently at first.

    Thank you for this background information. Interesting question about reality. I suppose, our reality is our perception meaning that our realities are quite different when seen from the eyes of others. Ten people looking at the same black box on the table will probably see ten different things. A present to some, a piece of rubbish to others.

    I'm looking forward to sharing ideas on the threads here, it is one of the main reasons why I joined.

    Also, do you have a link to where I can find your novel?
    If you want to read more than just two versions of the first chapter of my novel then the much shorter second chapter is HERE. If you are still game after that then the first part of the story is available as a PDF, EPUB or MOBI file. Send me a private message if you want it and I'll give you a link. I envisaged the original whole saga as being in six parts, but where the individual novels would end depends more on the acceptable length of novels than the story line.

    By the way, on the subject of whether to write short stories or novels, each of my chapters is virtually a short story in itself as I like to give the reader a payback from each. It's a way to keep them reading rather than just piling up promises to be fulfilled much later if they are willing to read much more. It also provides an easy progression from short story writing to novel writing so long as you have an overall story line to follow as well.
    'Sharing an experience creates a reality.' Create a new reality today.
    'There has to be some give and take.' If I can take my time I'm willing to give it.
    'The most difficult criticism that a writer has to comprehend is silence.' So speak up.

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Mish View Post
    Thank you once again for your relevant and comprehensive response.
    They're good and thoughtful questions.

    What social media do you use in your strategy? (apart from Facebook)
    Facebook is my main one, but I'm also on Goodreads. I also have a newsletter subscription option on my website. I did mostly start on Goodreads to begin with: that has some good reader groups on there, but that is mostly for readers, and they like their reading space without having an author look over their shoulder. So I mostly do the odd promo on their via my Goodreads blog nowadays.

    Would you recommend for a new writer to go through a similar processes you described for experience or shortcut through some of that?
    I'd recommend getting together a good list of reviewing sites and sending out review requests prior to publication if you can. I didn't with my first, and with hindsight, I should have had a little more faith in my work. If you're with a good publisher, they'll have their own marketing department and always talk to them first about what they need you to do, but most will hand over a review packs/links to you in order for you to go and solicit reviews yourself from reviewing blogs. But if you go self-pub, I'd definitely recommend being savvy about about reviewing companies and allowing them time to review your work before it goes live to the public. So approach reviewers about a month/2 months prior to publication. A lot of self-published authors are only giving reviewing blogs two weeks notice, and that tends to cripple reviewers. They handle a lot of authors and need time to read a novel, so be tuned into a reviewer's stress points too--don't give them a short deadline to get the novel read.

    Also, psych thrillers sound interesting. Could you please share a link to one written by you I can have a look at?
    If you're looking to see how things work for authors, I'll give you the link to Goodreads and my author page rather than show you a specific novel. It'll give you an idea on what's needed on Goodreads and what an author page can look like. That might help you more. Goodreads Link Here.

    every bit of advice and information is helpful. In the very least in shaping the expectations. So thank you for your help!
    Anytime. We've all been there: just starting out, and we don't forget what it's like, mostly because we never stop learning and screwing up ourselves, lol.

  10. #20
    Member Mish's Avatar
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    Hi JustRob,

    Thank you once again!

    Quote Originally Posted by JustRob View Post
    The discussion in the thread below will probably interest you. It addresses the idea that science fiction is often just a context within which to explore the human condition.

    Science Fiction is Not About Science
    It does look interesting, I will have a look.


    Quote Originally Posted by JustRob View Post
    When I joined WF I posted the entire first chapter of my novel for comment and nobody complained. The original version of 5320 words is HERE and then later I posted a revised version of 6900 words HERE in the same thread. The answer is therefore to do what you feel is reasonable and see how people respond. If you take too many liberties someone will warn you about it, but gently at first.

    If you want to read more than just two versions of the first chapter of my novel then the much shorter second chapter is HERE. If you are still game after that then the first part of the story is available as a PDF, EPUB or MOBI file. Send me a private message if you want it and I'll give you a link. I envisaged the original whole saga as being in six parts, but where the individual novels would end depends more on the acceptable length of novels than the story line.
    I'm happy to report that I read both versions of the first chapter you posted on this forum. Now I finally understand the picture in your avatar. (a great opening to the novel by the way!) The chapters were good, I liked them. They had a certain feeling of "Alice in Wonderland" that someone else mentioned in their review of your work. I also especially liked the first paragraph of your unedited version that begins with "THE END", it reminded me of a great film called "Memento" that begins in the end and finishes in the beginning. (though, no reference to your work)

    What caught my attention the most in the first chapter was Lucine's relationship with James. It was interesting to read about his projections of "what he wanted her to be instead of who she really was". I found this very relatable, because haven't we all experienced such projections from someone at one point or another. I almost wished the chapter continued more on this trail and described in more detail how they were and their point of failure.

    I will try to find some time to read the second chapter.

    Quote Originally Posted by JustRob View Post
    By the way, on the subject of whether to write short stories or novels, each of my chapters is virtually a short story in itself as I like to give the reader a payback from each. It's a way to keep them reading rather than just piling up promises to be fulfilled much later if they are willing to read much more. It also provides an easy progression from short story writing to novel writing so long as you have an overall story line to follow as well.
    That's good to know. This is how I attempt to write my very early stage novel as well. To that extent, I am using the experience gained from starting and finishing the short stories.

    I am close to finishing the latest short story I am working on at the moment. In which thread would it be best to post it for feedback?

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