How Many Writers At This Party?

Discussion in 'General Discussion & Questions' started by Christine62, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. Mr Nobody
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    Mr Nobody Well-Known Member

    Nah. However, you have to be published before you can claim to be an author (sez me).

    And re: Angelo Bottigliero - Everyone, let's all remember that Uncle Steve already wrote and that it was already pretty much what he was about - and he had one hell of a lot of support from his (very) good lady. Every hand dealt is different.
    But, Angelo, if you ever do get around to writing something, don't keep quiet about it, and good luck.
  2. Christine62
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    Christine62 Well-Known Member

    We have to write like no one is watching--even ourselves. We have to get away from the "I need huge blocks of alone time to write" ---my dad wrote as a kid but then he put the idea of writing on the shelf until he was 55---always an avid reader (lots of Stephen King as I recall) so he wrote a short story that was pretty good--then unfortunately he was taking a Writer's Digest course and the instructor wanted more pay checks coming in and told him it would make a good novel so my dad kept writing adding stuff --but he didn't develop the skills. I mean he did the first half he read a lot. He always had three paperbacks on his chair, usually a John D. MacDonald, a Stephen King and one about Nazis--but he didn't do the second part---the writing. You can have great Ideas but if you don't do the grunt work of writing, and rewriting and always writing everyday--you are not going to get there.

    We always have to be writing and we have to redefine what that is--it's not 4 hours on a Saturday--it's a few stolen moments when we are waiting for our pizza or gosh muting the tv during our favorite shows and writing during the blasted commercials --that's five minutes right there! I wrote four one hour screenplays one weekend while watching the Twilight Zone Marathon on Scifi channel. It's not being alone to let the muse whisper in our ear. It is synthesizing everything we experience in our day. We just have to do it and have the expectation that a lot in the beginning will be crap but with each attempt, each story, we will get better and better--as Mr. King says, this is the only way.

    Well, I guess I did my writing for the day LOL. Now I'm going to spend the rest of my morning listening to my Cell audiobook (so freaking awesome) and making a hundred Pierogi.
  3. Mr Nobody
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    Mr Nobody Well-Known Member

    For me, it's a bit of both. I'll happily grab five minutes here and there, depending on what's gone on in my head. I'm quite lucky in that I can retain stuff for hours, word for word as I thought it, so I don't have to try scribbling into a notepad while on a moving bus (which is a skill in and of itself) - though of course I always have a pencil - sharpened at both ends - and a bit of paper with me at all times. Mostly, though, it's a 2-6 hour day - though 2 hour days are about as rare as hen's teeth. I think the days of hammering out a 2000-3000 word short story in around 150 minutes, with only minimal corrections required, are behind me now. I'm not old, but I can't keep up that kind of pace anymore - and happily, I don't have to. So, any time is A Good Time, but huge blocks of time alone in which to write? Gimme.
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  4. Christine62
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    Christine62 Well-Known Member

    A pencil sharpened at both ends? LOL that's hardcore, man!
  5. Mr Nobody
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    Mr Nobody Well-Known Member

    L'il army trick I picked up. ;)
    It's come in handy quite a few times.
  6. Grandpa
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    Grandpa Well-Known Member

    I like to think I'm a writer. I've been published in trade newsletters and the national journal a number of times. That's all nonfiction, of course.

    I have a blog site, more vanity than business, I guess, but it's an outlet. My favorite fiction item on there is "Abraham Lincoln," a short-short, five-minute read or less. A fiction humor piece called "Wolves at the Open House," and my favorite nonfiction story is about my heart attack, called appropriately if unimaginatively enough, "The Day of the Heart Attack."

    I recently did a short novel, really a novella, I guess, about 22,000 words, that had my family and friends telling me how awesome it was, just like family and friends should, but they all said it needed to be longer and fleshed out. So I did, and as a result, it's tedious and I'm unhappy with it. Gotta rework the whole thing.

    And I did a memoir type of thing, just for kicks. It incorporates some of the true-life stories I have on my blog site.

    I guess that's it.
  7. VultureLvr45
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    VultureLvr45 Well-Known Member

    Agreed. Christine, are you making them with potato and sharp cheddar or onion and sauerkraut? Mmm.. we are getting slammed with snow today. Maybe I'll make some for dinner tonight... Mmm
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  8. skimom2
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    skimom2 Just moseyin' through...

    HAHA! I remember regularly shooting out 5-10K in a few middle-of-the-night hours. Doesn't work that way anymore. Can't live on 3-4 hours sleep anymore...often :)
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  9. Bryan James
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    Bryan James Well-Known Member

    I've written well. I've written Good. I might be clear of the nonsense.

    But I still write.

    I do not preserve much.
  10. Moderator
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    Moderator Ms. Mod Administrator

    Welcome back, stranger. :)
  11. VultureLvr45
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    VultureLvr45 Well-Known Member

    Welcome back Man!
  12. Kurben
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    Kurben Well-Known Member

    Well i dont know how i will count. I have had two articles published, one about books about youth (mentioned the body there) and one about movies for youth. Not kids, not adults and not movies with teens in the parts but movies about youth and their problems. I have't published any fiction but i have some stories in my drawers. Does that count?
  13. Mr Nobody
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    Mr Nobody Well-Known Member

    I'd say so. ;;D
    Though it's where you get to the hair-splitting I mentioned in an earlier post. You're a writer (of unpublished stories and published articles). Publish a book, and you're an author.
    And if you got paid, you're (at least) semi-pro.
  14. Neesy
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    Neesy #1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side

    You should not keep your stories in your drawers - it could be uncomfortable ;;D :tongue-new: :tounge:
  15. bigkingfan91
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    bigkingfan91 Well-Known Member

    I love to write, although it's been years since I tried anything. As a young kid an avid reader of King/Koontz I always loved to write, but of course I was young and nothing much came out of it except for a stack of stories/short stories I wrote that I am embarrassed about. I always wanted to trash them, and managed to trash some, but some of them were spared and still sit idle in the closet. They just sit there idling like a motor in the closet, collecting dust, but idling and ready to be revved up again!

    I'd love to have success at publishing, but for right now it's a shot in the dark for me. I talk to a few guys on Facebook who have had great success with self publishing, and it really helps out as extra money, with the chance at getting your name out there. I'll probably go that route whenever I get serious again, just for a good start. I have ideas from time to time and i'll write them down and keep them in a drawer, some are good and some are bad. The itch to write has been brewing here lately, but I'm taking my time and trying to let it just come naturally.
  16. Kurben
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    Kurben Well-Known Member

    Isn't all about the reason why we Write? For me it is a must, like breathing, something i do solely for myself. Then, when its done of course i am happy if someone else likes the result of ones efforts. But from the beginning, i at least never consider what others migfht like or think about what i write. Thats not important while i'm doing it. And to answer the question why publish that would for that would be a way to get back something of all the hours i put in. But that is an afterthought. I don't write to publish, thats a bonus if it happens and not something one should expect, but because it makes me feel better. But i can imagine several different approaches to writing.
  17. Rrty
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    Rrty Well-Known Member

    I hope I haven't already responded to this thread (if I have, sorry). I do remember this thread, though, and I've been going through it as best I can. It's a long one, and it's sometimes difficult for me to read through a long thread, so forgive me as I post my reactions but unfortunately don't link any of them to names.

    I am going to try to look up that Castle Rock newsletter story "The Exit." I tried sending a story in (was it part of the contest?) but it was rejected. I have all the issues.

    Writing radio commercials sounds like an interesting and fun gig, but I'm sure it must have been challenging at times (you probably said that, as well).

    To the person -- I think it was the original poster -- who said she wrote a script (story) that got turned into a short film, how did you accomplish that? I've been trying to do that for years. I would like to write a King-dollar-baby adaptation someday (I actually did write one based on "The Man Who Loved Flowers," but I think I remained too close to the tale, so I never tried to do it; I presume one should find at least a unique way of telling one of King's stories in the visual format if one is going to attempt to try the dollar-baby initiative.)

    Writing catalog copy and ad copy is cool. I would love to have worked for an ad agency, the kind you saw in that TV series "The Pitch" on AMC (if anyone saw that), but that isn't going to happen for me. Too competitive.

    I myself do some freelance writing. I also send out short stories. I've tried to get short scripts filmed; for full-length screenplays, I query agents and the like (my only accomplishment in terms of film scripts is having a production company recently request a script of mine, but I don't believe anything will come of it; and that's after tons of years trying to even get that far).

    I intend on self-publishing on Amazon's CreateSpace and Kindle program. I have a 58,000-word YA novel (who doesn't?) that I would like to post there, but problem is, I have to get it proofread, so I have to save up for the cost of that. Plus there are other expenses; it actually is hard to go through all the book-design logistics to publish on Amazon. Has anyone from the thread done this? Perhaps I can just cheaply post a short story to start on the Kindle program.

    By the way, this makes me think of a recent film about a writers' group; the hook was that one of them becomes successful, causing friction in the group. Can't recall the title, but there was a hilarious guy in it (who I think just recently passed away) who goes to a vanity press but pretends they came to him. Can't look up the title right now, but it was a decent film, probably could have been better executed.
  18. skimom2
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    skimom2 Just moseyin' through...

    No, I agree with you there. You do write to please yourself and quiet the head voices. And writing something just for yourself is great. I guess what irritates me is writers who get angry or offended when their stuff doesn't sell, especially when it doesn't sell right away. If a few agents/pub houses tell you that your stuff is unsaleable, and especially if they've found enough merit to give you suggestions and you refuse to consider them, they're probably right. At that point, you have a couple of options: you can keep writing exactly what you want, keep submitting, and hope maybe someday someone will take a chance on you. The second option is to listen to what professionals have to say (especially as to marketability, if publishing is important to you), and take what is useful. What I see with a lot of the unpublished writers that I know or that I've edited for is an appalling resistance to changing a damned word of their deathless prose. A few common complaints: 1) The agent, publisher, editor just doesn't get it, as if what they've written is deeply important and everyone else is too stupid to understand. Not likely--can't remember who said it first, but there are really very few stories. We tell our heart truths over and over again, in slightly different forms. A good editor has seen a bit of everything--they do get it. It might just not be very good. 2) It's my 'style'--that one comes into play a lot when authors have horrible grammar, punctuation, ability to structure a sentence, paragraph or story. Bullshit. You can only break the rules if you KNOW the rules, and many of them don't. 3) This novel is so intricately plotted that every sentence hinges on another, so nothing can be changed. There are a very few great writers to whom this would apply (and if you look, most of them write 'lean' from the beginning). Maybe. And they're not you (using 'you' in a generic sense, of course).

    Writing is a lovely thing, I'm the first one to admit that. The flow of words, that chill you get when you know a run of them is EXACTLY RIGHT, making yourself laugh (or cry), being surprised when a character does something even you didn't expect. It is also a business--a JOB. Many people with publishing aspirations (I'm leaving out the people who just write for themselves here) either go into it without looking at the realities, or refuse to believe those realities apply to them. And those are the people who are surprised or frustrated by the process. If you publish, unless you are very lucky, you WILL have to make changes to your manuscript. You WILL have editors question what you did. You ARE subject to basic guidelines for publishing length in different genres (there are exceptions, but those people are the lightning-in-a-bottle winners). Publishers are selling a product, and they want a profit. If they take you on at all, they already have faith that you will make them money. You have to have at least a bit of faith that the advice they give will help that process along. A writer may not agree with every suggestion, but if one wants to publish there has to be a practicality mixed into dreams. You can keep it exactly as you wrote it, hug it to yourself, and keep it private, or you can publish.

    Goodness, Grandpa, look at me. I answered my own question (and used your fine advice) from our chat (lol). Had to think it out on paper, I guess :)
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014
  19. Kurben
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    Kurben Well-Known Member

    wow! what an answer. Well, i must say agree with you. I even think that some published authors shouldn't have been published. Some of them are successes. The reason isn't plot or story. It is Language. It is important when you're writing and nothing you just can pass by by saying it is my "Style". I don't think i am in a position to judge people writing in english since it isn't my birth language but i do encounter some horrible examples of swedish then and then where an editor should have sat his foot down and said change! Rewrite! Write correct! I just abhor bad language (and i dont mean swearwords now). But a lot of people doesn't even seem to notice it. Not until you point it out but it doesn't bother them when they are reading. Of course, if your goal is to publish then you have too follow advice and not get angry or upset by the bumps in the road you're gonna encounter. They will always by there and they are there for a reason. So i think we're more or less take the same stand here. It's just that i'm one of these guys that writes basically for myself, for the pleasure. My work is in another direction and has to do with archaeology and history. I have written some guides on these subjects that are on the net. Very basic level but these are subjects that everybody should be able to get if you don't write at a specialist level which too many does. Sorry! floared away a bit there. But I hope you get my drift.
  20. Mr Nobody
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    Mr Nobody Well-Known Member

    As a rule, I write what I like. If others like it, great. If not, fine...but it was a story I had to tell, or just wanted to.
    Publication, now...putting my editor's hat on, I have to say I can't stand 'precious' writers. You can, of course, be a 'precious' editor, so you have to be aware of that and take personal stuff - ego, style preference, etc - out of it (it's also why you can't truly self-edit effectively, even if you're one of those rare birds who can fully detach from their work, emotionally).
    I usually take pains to get the idea across that my edits are really only suggestions, albeit strong ones. I don't work for a publishing house, so I can't really say 'Do this or that or it won't sell', because it might. So far, I've only had one person who completely ignored my advice (and the book didn't sell).
    What I'd say is, if you're looking to publish, go to the trouble (and the expense) of finding an editor you can really work with. Take their advice on board. Argue your case if you must, as is your right, but be open to making all of the changes they've suggested in the end, and you'll stand a better chance.
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