Another scribbler


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Thread: Another scribbler

  1. #1

    Another scribbler

    Hello to anyone reading.

    I have recently quit my 9-5 after so many years languishing in mind numbing employment and have decided to take up writing full-time. I'd vaguely had it penned as a career choice for years but after getting sick of the sound of me saying 'I want to be a writer' I realised the only way to make it happen was to give myself no other choice. I've dived into a couple of personal projects, mainly content and article writing but as with many things I realised gaps in my skills pretty quickly. It seems to the nature of these things you only realise your shortcomings when you actually start doing it.

    Something I would greatly appreciate is any advice and guidance from anyone on how they improved their general writing ability (structuring and style mainly). I don't know if this is the right place to post in this forum, but if anyone has any courses, tips or even materials here that might help me out, I would be very grateful.

    Any direction on useful places in the forum to check out would also be great.

    Cheers,
    Michael

  2. #2
    You have come to the perfect place! The forum is your oyster. The best way to improve is to submit pieces for inspection and critique. It's the most painful part of the process but as Jane Fonda, that great philosopher, once said: 'No pain no gain.' Unless it's a repetitive strain injury.

    You'll get full access to the workshops once you've posted 10 comments, and it's the workshops you'll be wanting to seek out.

    Welcome aboard. I'm looking forward to seeing your work. (and it is work).
    Craft / Draft / Graft And Write To Entertain.

  3. #3
    Welcome, fellow scribbler. You found the right place. Your fellow writers will be a great source of information and help, and I think you will be of use to them too.

    If I were you, I'd browse the forum, it's the best way to gain insight of what information, challenges, and people live here. After you will have made 10 posts, more parts of the forum will open up to you.
    For starters, this forum might be of use to you:
    https://www.writingforums.com/forums...ters-Resources
    Hidden Content
    Follow Flashes on...Hidden Content ...Hidden Content ...Hidden Content
    (we even allow simultaneous submissions!)


  4. #4
    Take a look through 'Writing discussion' in the 'Writing related' section, and writing discussion's sub-forum HATs (Hints and tips) You will probably find plenty there to comment on and make up your ten posts which show us you are not an opportunistic spammer

    Look forward to seeing you around, anyone who joins a forum at quarter past nine in the morning has to be reasonably serious, unless you are in a different time zone of course.
    Hidden Content

    A whole swathe of entertainment, all sorts of lengths, all sorts of stories, all with that 'Olly' twist.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Mickeyq View Post
    Hello to anyone reading.

    I have recently quit my 9-5 after so many years languishing in mind numbing employment and have decided to take up writing full-time. I'd vaguely had it penned as a career choice for years but after getting sick of the sound of me saying 'I want to be a writer' I realised the only way to make it happen was to give myself no other choice. I've dived into a couple of personal projects, mainly content and article writing but as with many things I realised gaps in my skills pretty quickly. It seems to the nature of these things you only realise your shortcomings when you actually start doing it.

    Something I would greatly appreciate is any advice and guidance from anyone on how they improved their general writing ability (structuring and style mainly). I don't know if this is the right place to post in this forum, but if anyone has any courses, tips or even materials here that might help me out, I would be very grateful.

    Any direction on useful places in the forum to check out would also be great.

    Cheers,
    Michael
    Hi Mickeyq,

    I read 2 books about writing 15 years ago that helped me and wrote a novel in 2006. And that was a strange experience how that turned out. And I haven't really written since, my son started walking and I also worked and now he is 14 almost 15 and my husband just retired and I really don't need to work but I plan on getting a part-time job in September. So like you and the reason I am writing is I can write now. The 2 books I read 15 years ago, were one called Making a Literary Life by Caroline See. What I liked about her book was she talked about how she loved eating tomato soup and couldn't stand Paris really. And within her advice about how to live a writers life her boyfriend and long time partner was dying and that is mixed in the pages. Changes his sheets and stuff. It really stuck with me. Caroline was how to organize your life like a writer. And the other book I think was by Elizabeth George. Her book really helped me with the mechanics of a novel. She spoke of most novels have about 15 characters, she worked around main scenes. she even went as far as to cut out paper on her table for the buildings and surroundings so they made sense in her murder mysteries. She was very strict about writing every morning no matter where she traveled. She has never lived in England but would go to do research noting pubs and streets and hotels and building whatever she needed. From those 2 books I wrote for about 8 months as a writer. And at that time you had to send query letters. And I took a class and sent 100 with self addressed envelop. One publisher interviewed me. and its a long story from there but that was about the basics. Now so much is online and easier. Plus self publishing is easier. For me I planned out the main scenes in each chapter and use the characters like vehicles for what I need in the story. I love John Irving and read his Cider House Rules and bought the screen play and read that as he wrote it also and watched the movie. Just to give myself the understanding how a novel is translated into a screen play and movie. And lastly I like Sylvester Stallone and (sorry this is getting long). and I read that he would tape movies and go home and write them out until he could write a screen play in Rocky. So there are different ways you can come up with the action and dialog. I am a normal person but reading those 2 books really helped me. With Elizabeth George after you get the first draft. She would lay it all out and rearrange it if needed and have a friend read it and comment. And then start the second draft from that. I did all that with my first novel.
    This novel feels different because of that first experience. I am not as talented as Caroline See nor as disciplined as Elizabeth George but I can write and generally do what they suggest but not as hard core as them. Oh I am pretty lazy and very under confident and yet I am writing this 2nd novel. I am doing it.

    Anyway, those are all my favorites Caroline See, Elizabeth George, Sylvester Stallone and John Irving. LV

  6. #6
    I have read several books by writers about writing. Mostly their advice varies greatly, but I noticed the successful ones consistently wrote consistently. That is to say they wrote from ten in the morning 'til four o'clock when the kids came home, or if they were working when they started they would come home and write five hundred words every evening before they sat down to eat. When and how much varied, but they were all consistent in their personal writing habit.
    Hidden Content

    A whole swathe of entertainment, all sorts of lengths, all sorts of stories, all with that 'Olly' twist.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Olly Buckle View Post
    I have read several books by writers about writing. Mostly their advice varies greatly, but I noticed the successful ones consistently wrote consistently. That is to say they wrote from ten in the morning 'til four o'clock when the kids came home, or if they were working when they started they would come home and write five hundred words every evening before they sat down to eat. When and how much varied, but they were all consistent in their personal writing habit.

    I totally agree Ollie that it takes work. I read somewhere it takes "butt glue'. Time spent with your butt glued in the chair. Thanks for the reminder to me anyway that I need to put the time in to get the result. With my first book I planned it out in advance on paper. What characters were together how generally what was going to happen. I wrote character sketches for each of the 15 or so characters. Things like this. The mistake I made was just writing as fast as I could with not a lot of thought. So once I had the first draft of 80K words which is not a huge book or anything. I had a lot of re-writing to do. For me I like to think about things and wake up in the morning and often I have new ideas that come to me. I have to think a lot too. This novel Unspoken Mermaid is essentially a Romance and Contemporary Fiction. With modern conflicts. With an underlying them that we all have Unspoken Mermaids. Things that are unspoken that drive our lives. I am being more methodically this time so my second draft is not such a blob.

    Anyway I have a dark depressive bent and it has taken me awhile to find a novel idea that is fun enough that I am willing to think about it all the time.

    Hmmm, maybe I can write every morning for 2 hours. I can handle that. I can't really handle night and day type writing. Although it reminds me of an English politician I forgot his name. He would rent a hotel and write in 2 hour shifts for 8 hours a day during waking hours. Taking breaks. And I read that Rachael Rae the cookbook guru also went to a hotel and isolated herself to write her cook books. For me you are reminding me to spend the time.

    Thanks for reminding me to put some "butt glue' time in or nothing will be accomplished.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Mickeyq View Post
    Hello to anyone reading.

    I have recently quit my 9-5 after so many years languishing in mind numbing employment and have decided to take up writing full-time. I'd vaguely had it penned as a career choice for years but after getting sick of the sound of me saying 'I want to be a writer' I realised the only way to make it happen was to give myself no other choice. I've dived into a couple of personal projects, mainly content and article writing but as with many things I realised gaps in my skills pretty quickly. It seems to the nature of these things you only realise your shortcomings when you actually start doing it.

    Something I would greatly appreciate is any advice and guidance from anyone on how they improved their general writing ability (structuring and style mainly). I don't know if this is the right place to post in this forum, but if anyone has any courses, tips or even materials here that might help me out, I would be very grateful.

    Any direction on useful places in the forum to check out would also be great.

    Cheers,
    Michael
    Hey, Michael, welcome. Sometimes the best way to get yourself to do something is to hurl yourself right into it and it sounds like you've got that step done. Sure is an unwelcome thing when you realize those shortcomings! That happened to me, too.

    What sort of writing are you tackling? I notice that one thing you've done is content writing, I've done that as well (through Textbroker) and that's something that can be somewhat soul-destroying though if you can move on to doing better-paying gigs and can write content without having to struggle so much it's something.

    What are some of these personal projects you mention? I only ask because different areas of writing might require a different approach.

    Writer's Digest is a good resource to help you get oriented.

    Interacting with a community like this one, giving and receiving critiques, can also help you to develop your prose. Have a look around (more of the forum will open up after 10 posts and you can see what I mean) at how we help each other. And occasionally confuse each other.

    Glad you found us!

    F.

  9. #9
    Welcome!

    That's a bold jump but I applaud your verve

    There is sooooooo much information to be had here, it could be a full time job to get through it

  10. #10
    Hi Foxxee

    So currently I am working on launching my own website which will be a mixture of news, views and satire + my own radio show. On top of this I am trying to find a way to get paid so funnily enough am in the process of applying to text broker. They asked me to do a film review which I have now pretty much completed and am just pruning the last bits before sending it off. Regarding text broker did you have to do anything similar / did you find it easy to get work with them?

    Thanks,
    Michael

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