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New to the craft : FAQs • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

New to the craft

Frequently asked questions. Go HERE and read the first thread.
perezoyola
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New to the craft

Postby perezoyola » Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:31 pm

Hello all,
I've been thinking about writing for some time now, but I've finally decided to give it a go. Now, I don't have much experience other than writing papers for school and some sporadic blogging about nothing in particular. I would like to write a fictional novel/book based on true events and real characters. I'm not concerned about publishing, whether the novel will sell or how many people will read it, but I'm concerned about the quality. I work full-time, sometimes 10-12 hours a day and can only write during weekends and holidays. I'm not interested in the so-called "ghostwriters", writing is something I enjoy doing, I just can never tell whether it is good writing. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

TerryRodgers
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Re: New to the craft

Postby TerryRodgers » Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:33 am

The best advice I ever received was right here in this forum. Basically, if you want to write, you need to commit to your craft and find the time to write. That and read a lot as reading novels, especially in the genre you would like to write in, are your best textbooks. Good luck. I look forward to hearing about your journey.

LilliesCarol
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Re: New to the craft

Postby LilliesCarol » Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:35 am

I agree with Terry. If you want to write, do it! When you have a short story or a chapter of your book in progress, post it here for critiques, which will help your understanding of what you may or may not be doing correctly. There are some very talented people here who are always willing to help a newcomer. So welcome and I wish you well.
Long, long afterward in an oak I found the arrow still unbroke
And the song from beginning to end, I found again in the heart of a friend
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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pls
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Re: New to the craft

Postby pls » Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:21 am

What the others said. However, if your eventual goal is not to publish, I would question whether or not you were serious enough for us to continue to encourage you. After all, if you look at the top of this page, under the logo the statement of purpose of this site is "Write Better, Get Published," and with all the free e-venues for self-publishing, there's no reason any more not to aspire to publishing your work.
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James A. Ritchie
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Re: New to the craft

Postby James A. Ritchie » Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:54 am

I guarantee you have more experience than I did when I started, and I guarantee have more education that I had, but I started selling immediately.

Frankly, the only way to know how well you write is to try to publish it. It's pretty much impossible to judge the quality of your own writing in any other way. You write it, and then you try to sell it.

The secret to writing well is, as one editor said, "Read much, write often." If you love reading, and read often, you're already way ahead of the game. If you love writing, and write as often as possible, you're one more step ahead.

Talent is required, but far more people fail because the don't read and write enough, rather than from lack of talent. Talent is easy, dedication is hard.

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MookyMcD
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Re: New to the craft

Postby MookyMcD » Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:41 am

If you want to write because you want to write, that's a good enough reason for me. Welcome aboard.

perezoyola
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Re: New to the craft

Postby perezoyola » Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:23 pm

Thank you all for the helpful advice. The reading part is what I have been lacking. I've been stuck to only reading from a selective pool of authors (mainly Mario Benedetti, Jose Saramago, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Dan Brown) and haven't given much else a thought. Any other good reading recommendations? My first language is Spanish, but I intend on writing my first novel in English, since it is based in the U.S. Therefore, I haven't been exposed to a lot of English speaking/writing authors, aside from J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien, Mario Puzo, Shakespeare and as mentioned above, Dan Brown.

I would definitely like to publish my book, but I don't use that as motivation. My main motivation is to finish the story, and I imagine if it ends up being a good one, then the publishing could take care of itself (or I could force it through Lulu :D )

Please, if you have any book recommendations that perhaps you've written yourselves, let me know and I'll take a look at them. Thanks!

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pls
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Re: New to the craft

Postby pls » Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:25 pm

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mammamaia
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Re: New to the craft

Postby mammamaia » Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:35 am

drop rowling and brown, concentrate on successful contemporary authors who are generally considered to be good writers... which those two are definitely not, despite being popular with millions of readers who either can't tell good reading from not-so to downright bad, or don't care...
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James A. Ritchie
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Re: New to the craft

Postby James A. Ritchie » Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:01 am


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