March 27, 2007 at 4:00 pm #403843
I finally finished my novel. I would like to share with someone to read it. Romance/Fiction. I don’t want to share it with anyone I know because I don’t think they will give me an honest evaluation. Is there a place to post finished works for critiques?
March 27, 2007 at 4:00 pm #318396
March 27, 2007 at 5:08 pm #403844
Ann Emmert AbbottParticipant
Not a whole novel, not here, anyway. Check out the Critique section for guidelines for posting parts. Maybe you could find a writing buddy to trade works with. If you want a useful critique from which you can learn or discover ways to improve your book, may I suggest sending it to a professional editor?
March 28, 2007 at 12:50 pm #403845
Dramyk, did you see the PM I sent to you?
August 20, 2010 at 9:44 pm #403846
I’ve been writing for most of my adult life, have published a handful of poems, have written one novel and a number of short stories that have never seen the light of day…I’ve started writing more consistently now, and have started my first serious novel; one thing I find odd, and that I’d like to run by you all to see if this is a common experience: as I write, I find myself editing and re-writing, and then changing the plot, then editing some more…I’ll write 500 words, then 1,000, then cut it down to 400 because the plot line has changed. The idea has only really been living in my head for about two weeks; is this plot adjustment and subsequent editing a normal part of an idea’s gestation period? Does anyone else experience this as well?
August 20, 2010 at 9:49 pm #403847
Well … consider nailing down at least a rough semblance of a story line, if not a plot, once you get far enough along so you can see where the characters are taking you. Otherwise you’ll continue to zig-zag in all directions and finally finish the novel when you’re about 94. It’s all right to do a plot outline – I do mine chapter-by-chapter – and change later if it doesn’t work, but outlining now will save you a lot of time.
August 20, 2010 at 10:17 pm #403848
Well, nobody writes the same, and there are many formulas for success. But if you’re changing things around thatmmuch that early, you may want to nail something down. Many people get pretty far by just writing and if the plot changes or shifts, so be it. Things can always be changed in future drafts, and often that plot shift may be a better storyline than the one originally thought out anyway (or sometimes not I suppose). Others find better success with some sort of outline to follow to maintain focus. But if it’s me, changing and editing that much every you write would me batty.
I hope that helps.
August 21, 2010 at 11:35 am #403849
Thanks for your suggestions, they make a lot of sense to me. Funny, it’s only when I began writing consistently, with a steady schedule, that the ideas really began to flow. Rather than attempt to incorporate every ‘suggested’ plot adjustment (suggested by myself, of course) I’ve decided to simply jot these down in a separate document as possibly individual story ideas. Most of the writing I’ve done has been poetry/short stories, without much in the way of an outline. I can see where an outline would help here. Thanks again!
August 21, 2010 at 1:47 pm #403850
It all comes down to making progress. You the novel is getting steadily longer, there’s nothing at all wrong with editing and rewriting as you go.
Now, I don’t believe outlines ave time. They sure don;t for me. I can write a novel faster than I can write a good outline for a novel. But if an outline helps you, use it. I also believe it’s better to change something you know is wrong before you add a bunch more wrong things after it, meaning the first draft is going to be a complete mess than may take a year or more to get in shape. If you don’t fix a plot point now, it will multiply. But that’s me. Do what works for you, and you know it works if you’re making continual progress.
Don’t be afraid to outline, but don’t be afraid not to outline, either. And definitely don’t be afraid of editing and rewriting as you go. Many writers do exactly this. Dean Koontz is one of the most prolific writers around, but he edits and rewrites each page up to thirty times before moving on to the next page. This means he really doesn’t have to do a second draft.
August 23, 2010 at 7:15 am #403851
I found that writing the whole novel one time through was the best scenario for me. It gave me a feel for where roadblocks in plotting, character building, and pacing needed to be done. God bless Koontz, but there is no way I could do that without taking a step back and looking at the whole work.-DavidG
August 23, 2010 at 10:31 am #403852
I outline to a point. With my first manuscript and now my second, I wrote the first thirty pages, then stepped back and decided where I wanted to go. I wrote a basic chapter outline, with a few sentences, and then move forward. An outline for me is a guide. It doesn’t mean I follow it exactly. It gives me a sense of the plot and where it is going. Without it I would probably change the plot constantly.
Some are great without outlines. It’s all up to the individual and what will help them continually drive forward.
August 23, 2010 at 1:44 pm #403853
As I’ve often written on this forum, I abhor outlines. But that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t work for some writers. Go with whatever works for you.
Terry, I write somewhat as you do. In other words, I don’t outline, but I am generally thinking ahead as to what will happen in the next 2-3 chapters. And while I’m writing Chapter Six, I’m going over in my head what will happen in Chapter Seven. The difference is, I don’t write any of this thinking down; I keep it all in my head. Because when I come to actually write Chapter Seven, I might do something quite different from what I thought I was going to do.
I like to imagine the entire story, along with all the characters, as pre-existing. It’s my job as writer to uncover that story and discover the characters. But to use King’s analogy, I must do that excavation work with a chisel. If I were to outline, that would be like using a bulldozer, and would probably destroy the story.
A colleague of mine, while she was working on her PhD dissertation, used to speak of “writing myself to clarity.” In other words, she arrived at her conclusions while writing, not while doing the research. I found the same thing to be true in my own scholarly work. And although I abhor the actual phrase, I find it to be just as true while writing fiction: one finds the plot and discovers the characters while writing, not while trying to figure it all out in advance.
August 23, 2010 at 2:14 pm #403854
Personally, I don’t write true outlines, but always have a rough idea of where I’m going. I usually have a scrawled piece of paper with simple bulleted points that give me the higher overview of my original goal that I formulated back when the idea started to percolate (ex: “Goes to work, gets laid off”). This tends to keep me roughly on track, because as I start new sections I am relatively aware of where I plan to end up.
August 24, 2010 at 9:28 am #403855
I would love to be able to do that Warren. I think my brain needs an upgrade. My head is always so full of information, if I didn’t write it down I would forget it.
Ever watch “Married with Children”? There was an episode where Al was training his daughter, Kelly with useless sports information. Her normally empty head was being filled with lots of information. At one point she has to decide on learning something new and forgetting a memory from her past. The memory she forgets was about Al’s famous high school football game where he scored 4 touchdowns. I have Kelly’s brain. 🙂
August 24, 2010 at 9:32 am #403856
Al Bundy! LOL
August 24, 2010 at 10:07 am #403857
Terry, your story reminds me of what Sherlock Holmes told Dr. Watson early in their friendship. He said that the brain was like a lumber room, and the walls were not elastic. If you fill it with all sort of useless information, you crowd out the useful stuff or at least make it hard to find. That’s why SH was uninterested in the fact that the earth revolved around the sun. “Now that I know it, I will do my best to forget it,” he said.
I do have a really good memory. When I was working on Wagnerian opera, I was able to mentally “perform” a complete opera, bar by bar from beginning to end. So I don’t need to write this stuff down. But I understand that others may find it necessary or helpful.
Hope your second novel is going well! I’ve finished Chapter 15 of mine. 🙂
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