Writing Forums

Writing Forums is a privately-owned, community managed writing environment. We provide an unlimited opportunity for writers and poets of all abilities, to share their work and communicate with other writers and creative artists. We offer an experience that is safe, welcoming and friendly, regardless of your level of participation, knowledge or skill. There are several opportunities for writers to exchange tips, engage in discussions about techniques, and grow in your craft. You can also participate in forum competitions that are exciting and helpful in building your skill level. There's so much more for you to explore!

Have Your Ambitions Changed? (1 Viewer)

TheMightyAz

Mentor
Please don't take this as a negative! I'm less than happy with what I'm producing right now, and that's GREAT! I suppose it was inevitable at some point I'd want more as I progressed and improved. Now I'm looking to take my writing to the next level, beyond 'competent'. That's left me realising just how far from my 'new' objective I am. Here's the bottom line and in no am I comparing, I'm merely using these as an indication of progress: I now want to be as good as Scott Lynch and Patrick Ruffus. I will not rest until my writing is of that level of quality. GULP!

What about you? Have you changed your ambitions?
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
No, not at all. My ambitions have stayed the same. I want to write a 100K word novel, and that ambition will be realized this week.

However, I support you in your new goal. I think you can do it. But you will need to read a lot of their stuff to get there. And, I mean just read it -- don't analyze it right away. First, just let it seep in and then flow out. That's my two cents. Good luck AJ!
 
Last edited:

TheMightyAz

Mentor
No, not at all. My ambitions have stayed the same. I want to write a 100K novel, and that ambition will be realized this week.

However, I support you in your new goal. I think you can do it. But you will need to read a lot of their stuff to get there. And, I mean just read it -- don't analyze it. Just let it seep in and then flow out. That's my two cents. Good luck AJ!
Well, I don't really want to read a lot of their stuff. As good as isn't the same as. In terms of quality is what I'm getting at. I recently started listening to them and then going back to read my stuff ... OUCH! Boy, am I a beginner ... lol
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
Well, I don't really want to read a lot of their stuff. As good as isn't the same as. In terms of quality is what I'm getting at. I recently started listening to them and then going back to read my stuff ... OUCH! Boy, am I a beginner ... lol
Well, there is nothing wrong with having a benchmark. But IMHO, you will need to understand what about it makes it high quality. When I studied classical music, I used to go to something called a masterclass. Where a master in my instrument would invite other musicians to first listen to them play and then play. Of course, we couldn't play as well as they did, but the idea is that something would stick. I think you have referred to it before as muscle memory. And it's not necessarily copying. Just trying to reach a certain standard. Not a perfect science.

You introduced me to Scott Lynch. He is wonderful! Can you identify what about his writing is so special?
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
Well, there is nothing wrong with having a benchmark. But IMHO, you will need to understand what about it makes it high quality. When I studied classical music, I used to go to something called a masterclass. Where a master in my instrument would invite other musicians to first listen to them play and then play. Of course, we couldn't play as well as they did, but the idea is that something would stick. I think you have referred to it before as muscle memory. And it's not necessarily copying. Just trying to reach a certain standard. Not a perfect science.

You introduced me to Scott Lynch. He is wonderful! Can you identify what about his writing is so special?
Breadth, depth and clarity mainly, with a little flourish here and there that doesn't feel forced. I used to think I could never do that but recently listened to a lecture by Will Self. I was astonished to see how he worked. His walls are filled with notes, things he's noted down over the course of the year and thought would fit into a novel at some time. Metaphors, similes, smart things to say, unusual observations. That made me realise, these things don't just 'come to you', you have to take the time to invent them or accidentally discover them.
 

Cephus

Senior Member
No because I never had any ambitions. I wrote because I liked to write. I did it for decades without having the slightest interest in publishing. Then, one of my published author friends sent one of my books, without my knowledge, to his agent where his agent's son read it and made his father contact me. I didn't actually do any of the work, my writing did. My only ambition has ever been to write entertaining stories. Why in the world would I change?
 

Tettsuo

WF Veterans
My ambitions have never changed. I simply want my work to be widely read. I don't care how, so long as I'm widely read and my ideas get to as many people as possible... while making me enough cash to drop the job. ;)
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
Breadth, depth and clarity mainly, with a little flourish here and there that doesn't feel forced. I used to think I could never do that but recently listened to a lecture by Will Self. I was astonished to see how he worked. His walls are filled with notes, things he's noted down over the course of the year and thought would fit into a novel at some time. Metaphors, similes, smart things to say, unusual observations. That made me realise, these things don't just 'come to you', you have to take the time to invent them or accidentally discover them.
I had to look up breadth and depth in terms of writing. I learned that "breadth" is how many words one knows, and "depth" is how well one knows a word. So now that I understand all of this, I would suggest that your first sentence could form your vision statement:

Breadth, depth, and clarity, with a little flourish here and there that doesn't feel forced.

I'm a big believer in having stated goals or visions. Then, whenever you get influenced or sway off course, you can always come back to it and reaffirm. I think it also helps us fellow writers to know what you wish to accomplish, that way we can help keep you on your path when you ask for critique.
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
I had to look up breadth and depth in terms of writing. I learned that "breadth" is how many words one knows, and "depth" is how well one knows a word. So now that I understand all of this, I would suggest that your first sentence could form your vision statement:

Breadth, depth, and clarity, with a little flourish here and there that doesn't feel forced.

I'm a big believer in having stated goals or visions. Then, whenever you get influenced or sway off course, you can always come back to it and reaffirm. I think it also helps us fellow writers to know what you wish to accomplish, that way we can help keep you on your path when you ask for critique.
That's not what I meant when I said depth and breadth. It's difficult to explain but I can see it clearly when I read it. There's just 'more' in terms of information about the character and the world, and I don't mean world building there. I simply don't write enough.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
That's not what I meant when I said depth and breadth. It's difficult to explain but I can see it clearly when I read it. There's just 'more' in terms of information about the character and the world, and I don't mean world building there. I simply don't write enough.
Ah right...that makes sense too. The vision statement still works. :)

If you're not writing enough it could be that you are making the transition from short story author to novelist. As someone who reads a lot of novels, I can tell you that I'm not that focused on the plot. I'm more into the characters and the world. It's pure escapism. I want to get lost in it and be sad when the book is over. And then be incredibly grateful when the author comes out with a sequel.

Just an idea. Would it help as an exercise just to write about Yarrod's world as a separate piece? And then as a sort of research, write descriptions of the characters and what makes them tick.

This is an interesting article on Scott Lynch. He talks about not knowing his characters well enough in The Thorn of Emberlain so he went back and wrote three prequels to it. Quite a realization.

I also like his comment about world-building:

"The real question in worldbuilding is not how much can I dump on the page, but how much can I get away with not actually telling people?"

 

Llyralen

Senior Member
This week…
Just upping my game, realizing the goal. The overall goal hasn’t changed— basically to express myself in word and write novels with feeling and meaning—but the vision has changed.

The real question is HOW to get better. Continuing to write, writing more, yes (it’s starting to get to be a drug that I’m upset if I don’t get every day) but is also getting good critique one of those ways (yes, for sure for me right now) and is another way seeing a greater vision from reading? Yes! Look at what you’ve already been inspired by.

“How” can mean being inspired by great writing.
I think it can also mean learning the nuts and bolts of cadence and rhythm and other devices.

Sometimes writing to the masses means writing for clarity, so those goals need to be figured out. Ambition can change your target audience.
 
Top