Writer's World

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Re: Writer's World

Postby FencerforJesus » Jan 16, 2010 7:31 am

As I expected, I finished the first draft to the sequel of my spiritual wafare saga, Battle Cry: Expanding the Kingdom of Heaven. It's a bit rough, a lot of it due to the fact that I wrote half of it last summer, had to put it aside for a couple months due to school, and finished during this winter break. I have at least three characters I want to more heavily develop as they grew into larger roles than I expected at first. But overall, I think my plot line has a very good basis and has great potential.

Now I want to set it aside for a little while, see how my school schedule is going to affect my free time, and wait for some feedback. I've already got two people lines up, one who has read the first novel and one who hasn't. That is good for me because that will give me the perspective I need to see how dependent I want the sequel to be on the first.

I'm also going to try to find out as soon as I can if I can get some of my finals moved so I can go to that Christian Writer's Conference in May.
Be watching for the release of my spiritual warfare novel under a new title: "Call to Arms" by OakTara Publishing. A sequel (title TBD) will shortly follow.
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Re: Writer's World

Postby AJAiken » Jan 17, 2010 9:50 am

I have done very little writing since NaNo, but I have been (trying) to do editing. No work's been done on The Dance, my 2009 NaNo book, but I have had some people read it and comment on it so I know where I'll be going when I do get down to editing it. The Princess of Nowhere is currently entering its seventh or eighth draft (I've now almost lost count!) and is getting much, much closer to where I want it to be. I just need to be ruthless this time: every other edit I've left in things that I really shouldn't have, and I need to get those parts out, or at least sorted. Still, though it's coming along slowly I have a pretty good idea where I'm going.

The only thing I don't like about editing is that I have another idea that I really want to write. However, I'm not allowed to! I need to finish both the other two first. :)
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Re: Writer's World

Postby FencerforJesus » Jan 24, 2010 2:24 pm

I was taking a look at Writer's Conferences and realized something big. The one I've been wanting to go to in Estes Park, Colorado in May is actually a day sooner than I thought. I thought it would be a Thursday-Sunday at the end of my Finals week, which would be managable. But it actually is a Wednesday-Saturday, which would require me to move three Finals to Monday and Tuesday (on top of the ones already scheduled then). So I will not be going to that one.

Instead, I have a possible alternative. There are two conferences on each side of my Spring Break that are two day events: one in Dallas, one in Oklahoma City. It would be about the same costs as the one in Colorado, only fewer hotel costs to spend. I have one month to decide (registration deadline is Feb 26th) but realistically speaking, if I were to go to a Writer's Conference this year, this is my chance. I will seriously consider doing the OK City one, because I won't have to make any class arrangements that way. I'll post my decision as that time gets closer.
Be watching for the release of my spiritual warfare novel under a new title: "Call to Arms" by OakTara Publishing. A sequel (title TBD) will shortly follow.
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Re: Writer's World

Postby FencerforJesus » Feb 12, 2010 8:48 pm

Shameless bumping from the 3rd page.

While I have not done much writing in a while simply due to my school schedule, I have decided to attend the American Christian Writer's Conference in Oklahoma City, OK during my Spring Break. The conference is March 19,20, where I will get to hear about lots of tips and be able to speak with professionals about my novel. I'm really excited about this and am looking foward to seeing what God's going to do through it.
Be watching for the release of my spiritual warfare novel under a new title: "Call to Arms" by OakTara Publishing. A sequel (title TBD) will shortly follow.
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Re: Writer's World

Postby Mr Anderson » Feb 16, 2010 8:40 am

Speaking of writer's conferences, I'm going to be going to the Festival of Faith and Writing I mentioned on the last page...or the page before... ( http://www.calvin.edu/academic/engl/festival/ ) Are there any other NWebbers going there? I haven't been able to convince ANY of my friends to go, so far, even though they're all writers... XD
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Re: Writer's World

Postby sweeetlilgurlie » Feb 16, 2010 11:55 am

I'd love to go there, Mr. Anderson. I live right in town. I'll have to check if I'm free that weekend, but I think that I may just go! Should be fun. :)

I revised my novel summary, but I'm hesitant to look it over again. Nonetheless, I know that I have to. I'm going to go over it at least twice more- and then would anyone be open to reading it over and giving me some constructive criticism on it? It's about 35 microsoft word pages long, double-spaced.
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Re: Writer's World

Postby Aslanisthebest » Feb 16, 2010 6:42 pm

That does sound fun, Mr. Anderson! I wish I could go!

Sweeet, I'd be willing to read some of it, if you'd like. :)

The reason for my posting this is mainly to get happy about my writing skills actually coming back after NaNo. I feel like such a loser, compared to the people who worked on another novel on December 1st but anyways... :ymblushing: I guess I should go revise my NaNo novel now.

On a side note, I had mentioned some novel things and writing to my mom, and she mentioned some along the lines that she'd look into some early steps into getting something I've written published, so that was quite exciting! :) It's a premature dream for myself right now, I think, but I guess I'll quit abandoning writing now. ;))
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Re: Writer's World

Postby FencerforJesus » Feb 16, 2010 7:59 pm

There is nothing wrong with taking time away from writing after NaNo, especially if you made the goal. That is no small feat. People get Writer's Burnout quite frequently after that kind of a run, so don't feel bad.

As for getting published, that sounds great, but please note that it is a long process. I know as I am going through it. But it also depends on what you want to do. If you don't care about a big audience and just want something published with your name on it, and only plan to pass it on to family and friends, then self-publishing or print-on-demand would be a good way to go. It is cheap for the most part, and you can get just as many books done as you need. But if you want a bigger audience, you are going to have a challenge, if you are a new author (which I am assuming you are) with nothing already done. It can still be done, but it won't be a walk in the park, persay.

Personally, I'm not trying to be the next Rowling, Peloni, Meyers, or other suddenly hot authors, but I definately do want to reach a wider audience than just the friends and family I have. Because my work would be in a Christian genre, I went through a screener, Writer's Edge Service, that did an excellent job at determining if my work was not only publishable but something that a publisher would actually review. I applied through them twice, getting rejected once, and accepted the second time. The first time, I got excellent feedback on what to work on and how to improve my writing. The second time, they loved it. From them, I heard from three publishers.

After talking with them, all three recommend print-on-demand services, but not really understanding the processes at the time, I held off. Besides, I couldn't justify using college funds to pay for it at the time. It was my talks with WinePress that really helped me understand the system more than I did then. They are still very interested in my novel, but I can't afford them at this time. I know a lot of people strongly recommend going for a traditional publisher, and that is my preferential way to go. But those traditional publishers have gotten big enough that few of them take unsolicited manuscripts (ie, you write to them requesting for them to review your manuscript). So getting a traditional publisher to simply take your manuscript, without an agent or an established successful book, is no easy feat.

After talking with WinePress and realizing I simply could not do what I wanted at that time (I now see why when my financial aid decided to give me a small pill), both WinePress and another publisher strongly suggested going to a Writer's Conference. I've wanted to go to one in Colorado for the last two years, but always had something else going on that week. I thought I'd have a chance this year, but it would force me to squeeze five Finals in two days...not smart. So I looked at ones during my Spring Break and the one in Oklahoma City stood out.

At this conference, I will have four consecutive sessions on fiction writing, a chance to have a one-on-one talk with a professional, get a few contacts, and a few other things as well. I don't know what God is going to do there, but I believe that this is the next step for me. And if I am walking the right path, God is going to put me in contact with the right person to point me right where I need to do. Will this mean my book will get published right away? I won't say that, but it will get me closer. Just four weeks away.
Be watching for the release of my spiritual warfare novel under a new title: "Call to Arms" by OakTara Publishing. A sequel (title TBD) will shortly follow.
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Re: Writer's World

Postby Aslanisthebest » Feb 23, 2010 5:21 pm

Thank-you for the encouragement, FencerforJesus. :) So I'm not alone! ;))

FencerforJesus wrote: As for getting published, that sounds great, but please note that it is a long process. I know as I am going through it. But it also depends on what you want to do. If you don't care about a big audience and just want something published with your name on it, and only plan to pass it on to family and friends, then self-publishing or print-on-demand would be a good way to go. It is cheap for the most part, and you can get just as many books done as you need. But if you want a bigger audience, you are going to have a challenge, if you are a new author (which I am assuming you are) with nothing already done. It can still be done, but it won't be a walk in the park, persay.
Mhm, I figured it would take a long time to do so, and I haven't even decided if I'm going to self-publish or go for something higher, yet... (But I hadn't known about self-publishing and print-on-demand, so thanks! :) ) Actually, I do have a few poems and short stories that I was taking into consideration for publishing (not my NaNo novel) that I've been piling up for a few months now, so I'll see which road I decide to take from there, I guess. :)
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Re: Writer's World

Postby Narnian_Archer » Mar 05, 2010 6:27 am

Hi, everyone!
I'm an amature writer...actually, I don't know if I could even call myself that. :) I've been making up stories ever since I was eleven, but I never got around to writing them. When I had successfully come up with 12 different stories, I started to forget them, so I decided it was time to write. It took me one-and-a-half years to complete my first short story. (I just finished it recently). During the course of my writing, I've come up with a few problems, and I would like to ask some experienced writers for help. I'll be very thankful for any advice.
My main difficulty in writing is description. Since I don't imagine my stories as words (so-and-so went here and did this, etc.), but I actually see it all happening in my mind, like a movie, I get stuck as to how much (or how little) describing is needed. Sometimes I get so carried away in my writing, I go on and on describing the same thing.
Another thing I'm stuck on is how to describe characters. I started just by describing their hair and eye color, but as I progressed in my story, I realized I needed more than just that. I've been studying various classics and the way different classic authors introduce their characters, and it has helped, but I felt advice from different authors who are writing now or have written in the past could also be beneficial.
As I mentioned before, any advice you can give will be greatly appreciated. A huge thank-you in advance to anyone who answers this post!
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Re: Writer's World

Postby sweeetlilgurlie » Mar 05, 2010 7:51 am

Hey, Narnian_Archer! It's great to see you around.

Hmm...description...It's not my strong point-- I'm better with dialogue. But I'll give you a few suggestions.

First, think about what you would like to know about the characters as a reader. Think about what you need to know as well. Supposing that how tall your character is comes into play in the story later on! It's helpful to have already described that near the beginning of the story rather than inserting it just when you need it.

Also for character description: While physical description is important, I believe that it is more important to outline their character traits. To have a strong character, that character needs to have a personality, and a good way to let you know of some of the solid traits is to outline that personality by how you write and by description.

Second, I spoke about reading your story as a reader would read it. Do that! Make notes of the things that seem dead in your plot, and note where detail should be added. Also make notes of where extra description just seems to drag down the story. No matter how pretty your description of the beautiful valley is, if it doesn't add to the plot, or more importantly, if it takes away from the plot, it shouldn't be there-- or it should at least be smaller.

I hope that those ideas help some!
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Re: Writer's World

Postby AJAiken » Mar 05, 2010 9:52 am

A good tip with characters, to broaden their description and their personality, is to write out profiles. Then your mental image of the character is written out in all its fullness, and you can refer back to it, and add things.

Mind you, I'm not too good at doing that myself. ;))

sweeet, those are great points! Write as a reader and read as a writer. And, Narnian_Archer, it sounds like you're doing that already. Studying the classics? Excellent! I think I've definitely learnt most about writing from 1) writing (obviously!) and 2) reading. :)
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Re: Writer's World

Postby FencerforJesus » Mar 05, 2010 10:14 am

There are also ways to decribe characters that reveal personalities. For example, if you have a character that loves the outdoors or is outside and active, using a phrase like 'sun-bleached hair' reveals not just a physical description but also a personality characteristic. Someone with a definate tan also shows this. In some cases, a tatoo will show where someone has been in thier past. Someone with thick, solid thighs is very active as is either a runner or an athlete.

In terms of setting, describe what is needed depending on the importance of the place in the story of the character of the observer. For example, a valley with trees and a river can be a simple as you need for some situations. But if you have a character that loves nature, point that out, not with tell us that he/she loves it, but by have that character look into the details of a tree or bush or flower. For buildings, architecture describes the culture. Tapestries in chapels or castles reveal history. In a castle setting, presense of sentries or guards can describe whether they are on regular patrol or on a heighten watch. Are the guards taking thier duty seriously? Are they lounging around? That says a lot more about the mindset of the king or lord then just the guards.

Think about these kinds of things. The big thing that writers tell other writers is to show not tell. Describe things through actions, through dialogue, and even through setting. Of course, not everything needs to be laid out in a Tolkien-esque manner. Sometimes all you need is a simple wintery forest. I'd say more but I have to go to class.
Be watching for the release of my spiritual warfare novel under a new title: "Call to Arms" by OakTara Publishing. A sequel (title TBD) will shortly follow.
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Re: Writer's World

Postby Fire Fairy » Mar 05, 2010 4:10 pm

Wow, it's been a while since I've been on this thread. Then again, I haven't been doing as much writing as I should be, either.

Narnian_Archer, I too echo everyone else's advice. I used to have the same problem of describing way too much. One thing I've learned is that it's important to have a balance between description and action. Do you have any fellow writers in your neighborhood? If you do, I suggest starting a Writer's Workshop. The one I go to has two rules: 1) you are not allowed to read your own story and 2) you cannot defend yourself. This gives you a chance to hear someone else read your work and detach you from your story. Many writers, when presented with constructive criticism, have a tendency to want to explain their writing. The thing is, you're not going to be around to explain everything to your reader. This is where good judgement about details comes in. You want to give details and descriptions that give your readers clues. When describing characters, give the reader something like what they are wearing at the time to hint as to their social status. Only give details that reveal important information. For example, describing a character that has a piercing of some sort gives the reader a sense of what kind of person they are. Also, if you find yourself describing something way too much, cut out the "fluff" details. You want to give your reader just enough info that they "create" the scene in their mind. You don't need to paint the whole picture for them. If you give them just enough detail, their imagination will take care of the rest.
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Re: Writer's World

Postby Narnian_Archer » Mar 06, 2010 8:21 am

Wow! Thanks for all your advice, sweeetlilgurlie, AJAiken, FencerforJesus, and Fire Fairy It's a great help! :) :) :)
Fire Fairy wrote
Do you have any fellow writers in your neighborhood? If you do, I suggest starting a Writer's Workshop.

Well, no, I don't, but both my sisters and I write, so maybe we could start a small workshop with just the three of us, according to the same rules as the one you attend. Thanks for the suggestion! :) :)
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Re: Writer's World

Postby AJAiken » Mar 06, 2010 8:31 am

I like being able to read out my own work, because I think it's a good way of becoming more confident about what I've written. However, I really like the "no defending" rule. I should suggest these at my Writer's Society! (I go to one at my university.)
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