Never too late...

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Never too late...

Postby FindingMargaritaville » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:47 pm

Hi, folks. I just came upon this site, but I have heard of it.

I am from the west coast, but have lived in six states stretching out all the way to Vermont. I'm 41 and enjoying a book of short stories by Jimmy Buffett---the musician---given to me in the early 90's. I have read it several times, but I am not so good with reading comprehension. The same was true in high school, college, and university. I really regret not going with the flow of what my teachers wanted.

But somehow this reading has gotten me into books again (as if I was ever into them), and I've enjoyed writing up my own character sketches. But, these are all characters without a short story book to be a part of, and it's almost a shame. Character formation (and even place formation) is a blast for me lately, but plot creation evades me.

I'm not really aiming to be published. I'm more so just reclaiming a part of my brain that I never let be exercised back in school. And at the end, I'm kind of just entertaining myself. If this is an inappropriate place to be, my apologies.

I intend to contribute, but I'm not sure how or where at this point. But hopefully beyond this admittedly cozy introduction area.

Thanks for listening. Apparently this is longwinded.

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Re: Never too late...

Postby rob-lost » Sat Jul 22, 2017 10:21 am


For many, the best place to get started is by reading. These forums include an area for critiquing. Why don't you read some of the pieces in there, and give the writers some of your thoughts and impressions on what you read there?

Not only will it give you some insight into writing styles, but every critique is valuable, IMO.
Write for the love of writing? Try my Writers Writing forum

Elizabeth J Mitchell
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Re: Never too late...

Postby Elizabeth J Mitchell » Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:19 pm

Hey, I'm new too.
So I guess I have to introduce myself. My name is Elizabeth and I've been writing since about junior high. But I've only been learning about writing for about six ears or so.
I wouldn't worry too much about the plot thing. That came last for me too, and villains will always be a struggle for me.
See fanfic is how pretty much all writers start. Don't believe the fanfic haters, just because they didn't write down what was essentially daydreams for them doesn't mean they didn't have some sort of fanfic playing in their heads. All artists do some version, musicians do covers, painters copy old paintings, choreographers start as dancers. What on earth makes people thing writing is different? It's like the training territory in most videogames, learning how to grasp characters that are already created teaches you more about making characters and analyzing them without having to worry about other bits like world building and plot. Its a nice head-start. And you can do the same with plots, like writer training wheels. Learning to analyze plots is step one. Tv-tropes can help, but that's also a good way to waste your life, and ruin your vocabulary. Back to the useful bit - figuring out ways that it *could* have gone, and what-if situations like that, that's what we're talking about.
A lot of how you will write will depend on what you write, and vise-versa. No matter how hard I try I cannot write anything but first person. In first-person your character's world view *is* your world building, they're only going to notice what they're going to notice - this character *is* setting - in 1st person. Plot is pretty much the same - just look at all the kinds of people the world might create, look at all the challenges a society/environment might present, and all the people in the protagonist's past, or the world's legends. Looks for connections, lots of them. Play 'what if' any many times as you can with as many connections as you can think of.
Never forget what your inner editor sounds like - how to turn him on and off. Most bad ideas are just not developed enough. They have to be really terrible to actually be terrible, and half of those are just in the wrong genre/tone/setting.

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Re: Never too late...

Postby FindingMargaritaville » Sat Jul 29, 2017 12:36 am

Thanks, folks. Rob-lost, thanks for the idea. I'm going to start there tomorrow night when I have a good amount of time. I actually, just found it. There'ssomething about this site that makes it a bit difficult to navigate. I've been having trouble replying to anything because I think I'm signed in but I'm not. But now I obviously am.

Basically where I am is a very extensive writeup of characters, placenames and other things to be used (in theory) in a book of short stories. Would all of that be appropriate for the critique area?

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