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To be a published writer, or to not be a published writer?

chloejaneThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. posted this thread...
Jul. 31, 2013 at 6:55 am

I have never wanted anything more than to be a published writer. My only problem is that I cannot finish a book. I could do it I was to write short stories, but I want to write a book and have my name as the Author. I want people to read my work and say 'she can really write.'

I just don't think I am good enough. My best friend is currenting getting his book edited, which is amazing, because he deserves to be published. I just don't know how he does it, he is writing two books at the moment, maybe even more. He is insanly amazing at it. I am jealous.

I need advice as to how I could imporove on my writing, and I am aware that my grammer and spelling isn't too crash hot but I am improving on that majourly. Anyone who is willing to give adivce, I will give you some back if you wish it.

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Jul. 31, 2013 at 10:17 am

I have had this same problem. I started twelve different novels, one of them, the one with the most highly developed characters and plotline, eight different times. I could never get past the first page, until a crazy inspiration hit me in the form of a nightmare (yes, a nightmare, not a happy dream), and I changed the whole course of the story. Now I'm forty pages in and still going strong. I guess sometimes the key is to wait for inspiration, but other times the key is to make inspiration for yourself (cheesy but true).
However:
I'd love to say that anyone is always good enough to get published, but no matter how encouraging that is, it's a load of crap. Not saying you're not good enough as it is, but there are always ways to improve. I was horrible when I first started writing. Very true. And I'm still improving as it is.
Now that I've set the ball rolling, here are some of the ways that I try to improve myself:
1.writing prompts. Can't say enough about how useful these are, especially if they pertain to a story you're trying to finish.
2. Draw your characters, outline your plot. You'll often find that good descriptions of certain scenes in your stories come easily to you when you start to put them into the grand scheme of things. Drawing your characters, no matter how bad an artist you claim yourself to be, helps. It gives you an idea in your mind of your character's appearance, and you can imagine him/her doing something.
3. WRITE. Like I said, I have eight different drafts of one story, written over the course of four years. They pretty much show the progress I've made over those years in my writing in general. So write, even if you don't think you're good enough to get published (and that's been a dream of mine too), because if you aren't yet, you will be in time :)

Oh, and

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Claudia.VII replied...
Jul. 31, 2013 at 10:56 pm

You sound perplexed here, so I'm gonna help you out, girl. :) Ok, here goes nothing.
 
Step 1. Stop comparing yourself to your friend. He's getting his book edited, maybe he's got a publishing gig set up. Good for him. Let him focus on that and let you focus for YOU. Be selfish once in a while. He's writing books and if he's brave enough to face the publisher's wrath, let him. Getting your book out there and in print doesn't mean it's New York Bestseller next. If he wants to be serious as a writer, he's going to have to be a salesman. Writing is a job. It's only a hobby if you allow it to be. Ask yourself, right now, what you want from writing. If you want recognition, submit articles to your school's magazine. If you want to make this a career, market your writing shamelessly.
 
2. You can't finish a book. Why? No, rewind that. Lemme start over. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Need me to explain? Do you need a detailed outline to get your creativity going? Well, outlining for a novel is just like writing a short story. Transferring outline to novel format is just adding a whole lot more words. It's simple. It's easy. It's POSSIBLE. Think positive, right? If you're a go-with-the-wind type of gal (ME!) you're going to pause every five seconds and wonder if maybe your novel isn't "good enough". Well. Let's look at another author who "wings it". Neil Gaiman's, "Anansi Boys". Google it, read the plotline on wiki. You would think he wrote this thing up out of some crazy, voodoo-induced dream. Well, he published it anyways even if he thought it wasn't "good enough". And what can we say but, "BEST SELLER ALERT!"
 
3. You wanted advice on your writing. What piece of yours, specifically, did you want me to critique? As for analyzing mine, don't go through the trouble. I submitted THAT story about a year ago and WOW is it lame and unoriginal. For now, I'm just floating around and helping people. I really hoped I helped!
 
I don't think I did... :/

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None0 replied...
Aug. 1, 2013 at 12:26 am

As someone who has had 2 books edited and is working on around 10 (don't be like me), I can relate to your friend.
 
I can help you with your writing if you want. Assuming that your grammar is up to level (good that you're working on it), the most common areas of improvement for most people are, in no particular order:
 
1. Showing language v. Telling language (literally everone including myself needs to work on this)
 
2. Scene/Event transitions, or the flow of your writing
 
3. Sentence structure or phrasing (relates to flow somewhat)
 
4. Character psychology (applicability varies)
 
Then there are novel-specific elements like plot speed, or additional things to give your writing flavor, like imagery or figurative language. I'd recommend not adding anything additional until you've got the fundamentals down. Figurative language is very nice to read when it's done right, but if it's done wrong, it makes your writing sound clunky.
If you want more specific advice, I'd be happy to give examples, but for the sake of space, I won't just yet.
 
For the task of finishing a novel, I'm not sure if I can help you. I personally can't write anything under 100 pages without adding more to it. Whenever I try to keep my writing short, I keep getting new ideas on how to make the plot more complicated and add more and more content.
 
For you, depending on what kind of novel you plan on writing, the planning process varies. I planned on giving a detailed explanation of how the process would work, but it seemed too situational. If you want to give me some specifics on the novel, I could help a bit more, but I think you'd want to keep some originality too.
 
That's it for me. Good luck on your writing.

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Imaginedangerous replied...
Aug. 1, 2013 at 4:17 pm

If you want to improve your writing, the best advice I can give is to practice. Sure, there are books full of writing tips and grammatical advice, and they might be worth looking at, but the only way to discover your own unique voice is to write. The only way to learn which rules to break and which to leave intact is to write. The only way to become any good at writing is to write.
 
On average, it takes ten years of serious writing (or about six novels' worth, depending on who you ask) to be able to write something good enough to get published. Anyone who does better than that is an exception, not a rule. You're a teenager. You have your whole life to get better. Just keep practicing and evenually you'll produce something you like (and, hopefully, that a publisher likes).

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chloejaneThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Aug. 1, 2013 at 11:05 pm

 
I know that I really shouldn't compare myself to him considering that we are two completly diffeent wrighters. And why does everyone tell me to be selfish? I must be an extreemly considerate person if everyone tells me to be selfish every once and awhile.

What I want from wrighting is to write and to have people read my wrighting and get sucked into it. I want my wrighting to teach people things that many do not know.



I am a go with the wind type of person, I have the inspiration to write, I will write until my heart is content. I cannot plan before hand, it throws me off track and I get confused.



It doesn't really bother me on which piece you choose, but if you could 'Splinter' would be good. I have just written it and I hope to turn it into a novel.
 
 

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None0 replied...
Aug. 2, 2013 at 12:52 am

I really don't get what you want from us here.
 
Do you want advice? Encouragement? Detailed and structured feedback on your writing?
 
Basically, be a little more specific.

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chloejaneThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Aug. 5, 2013 at 6:50 am

In all honesty, right now, I have no idea. I don't know what I want. Just feedback will do. 

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