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The Writers thread

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by SCall13, Jan 27, 2009.

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  1. SCall13

    SCall13 ThePhins QB

    Just wanted to start a thread for those of us who write so we might discuss our favorite genres, projects we're working on, publishing, etc.
    It would be great to share some of our writing (just some excerpts) and give each other advice and maybe even encouragement and critique each other.

    My genre is mostly horror and psychological thrillers. I'm working on a novel and a book of short stories. I'll be glad to share with any fellow writers on the boards.

    :up:
     
  2. Alex44

    Alex44 Boshosaurus Rex

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    That's really cool.

    I have about 20000 things I've started writing in the sci-fi type genre but I never get really far because I always want to start something new....or come to dislike my original idea.
     
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  3. SCall13

    SCall13 ThePhins QB

    Typically, what I do, is write a "skeleton" of what I want the story to be about. Then I go back and add the rest of the "anatomy." I find it easier to get the basic concept on paper - the scope of the story, then go back and fill it in with the deeper details. I sometimes get frustrated writing when I am overly focused on all the details. If you can get the concept on paper, it's much easier to go back and "pad" it up.
     
  4. SCall13

    SCall13 ThePhins QB

    I know what you mean about having so many things started and few finished. I just read a quote by Stephen King that inspired me. He said (and this is NOT verbatim) that if you only wrote when you felt like it, you might write 3 days a year. He said you have to make yourself write at LEAST 2 or 3 pages a day. And it makes perfect sense. We love writing, but we get frustrated. Why? Because we don't FEEL like it. Because we don't feel inspired. Whatever. But if we get SOMETHING down on paper, we have something to work with. If you write nothing, then you are stuck with just that.
     
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  5. SCall13

    SCall13 ThePhins QB

    What is that idea? Better yet, don't tell us the idea. What is the genre? Get on with it. We've read your writing bro. You have that ability. Get it on "paper."
     
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  6. Alex44

    Alex44 Boshosaurus Rex

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    Threads like these always remind me that no matter how different people are in terms of beliefs, politics and whatever else that we're all pretty similar.

    Okay enough of the mushy stuff there :lol:

    That's very true though. Usually when I'm excited to write it's because I have a fresh idea. Thats what I'm trying to do now though, force it. I saw another quote...I think it was his...that if you don't have time to write for two hours a day you don't have time to be a writer.

    As far as what I'm doing now...it's kind of old school sci-fi like Frank Herbert or Isaac Asimov. Though obviously not nearly that good. When I get some more down I'll post it.
     
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  7. SCall13

    SCall13 ThePhins QB

    Excerpt

    This is an excerpt of something I am working on. This is the absolute rough draft.

    Saturday, June 6th
    11:20 pm


    A young couple ducked under the yellow police tape that marked a crime scene and made their way down a trail that led to the beach. On both sides of the path, a thick accumulation of sea oats swayed in the light wind on two inclines that enclosed the trail. Their bare feet sunk into the cool, soft sand. They clung to each other tightly –laughing - and made their way toward some vast concrete blocks that sat at the end of the trail, but 50 yards back from the ocean. The blocks were man made to help prevent beach erosion during storms, but they were used for many other purposes by beach goers. At night, they were hidden well in the shadows of still more haphazardly strewn blocks and scattered sea oats. Lovers often used them as a place to make out or make love in the cool ocean breeze and the sound of the rolling waves.
    The night was unusually quiet; not that many people were ever on the beach at this hour. But it was a quiet that felt unnatural – tranquil, yet odd.
    The young man spread a blanket over one of the more level blocks, turned on his radio, and sat down; the young lady followed his lead and set closely beside him. He put an arm around her shoulder and pulled her close to him and began kissing her eagerly. She returned his kiss just as passionately and he laid her back onto the blanket. The bright moon lingered brilliantly above them, but they were hidden well amongst the concrete blocks. The radio played a love song that they kissed in tempo with.

    They both broke away from each other at once and looked around. An anomalous, grotesque stench filled the air. It blew to them with the wind. It was a rancid odor – a stink unlike anything they’d ever experienced. They both stood, not uttering a word – looking around. After a few seconds, the odor dissipated. They had no idea what it was. They muttered a few words to each other and sat back down on the concrete slab and fell back into rhythm with the radio, which was now playing a different song.

    It moved with stealth. The smell of human flesh enraged it. He hungered for them – not as food, but to mutilate them. The lust for human blood consumed it. It watched them for a moment, and then moved tactfully through the sea oats, its movement fluid with the blowing breeze. It watched them look up and around. Knowing they had caught its scent, it moved upward and behind them, taking itself out of the breeze that blew toward them. The rage within it increased. Slaking the rage drove it.

    The young couple was intertwined, their bodies writhing together on their makeshift bed. Oblivious now to their surroundings, they were lost in lustful thoughts and fervor.

    So close now. It could almost smell the blood pulsing through their veins…

    They touched each other, their hands moving delicately over each other’s body; their breathing heavier, their desire for each other evolving - growing more intense.

    It watched them with detestation. Its inner shrewdness was provoked. It had to mutilate them – destroy the humans. They did this – made it what it was. They would pay.

    Her eyes opened and closed, taking in the sensations that filled her body and mind. She gripped him tightly, pulling him to her urgently. She wanted him – to feel him.
    A shadow passed over them; a huge, dark shadow that veiled the moon’s light. But as quickly as it was there, it was gone. The young woman stopped and looked around. Her boyfriend looked down at her, slightly bewildered – as if he’d been summoned from a hypnotic state. He looked into her eyes, and then followed her gaze. She looked around, confused. Something had been there – something large. Its shadow was massive. But what could it have been? What could have cast a shadow that large yet remain so silent?
    They both sat up, now wary of their surroundings. They clinched hands and stood up, looking around intensely. After a few tense moments of uncertainty, they decided to walk down the beach to another surreptitious location.

    Now was the time. Its hatred, rage, and craving to spill their blood could not wait a moment longer. It bared its teeth, opened its claws…


    The quiet night was suddenly filled with a sound that resonated, seemingly, from every direction. I rasping snarl, ear splitting, echoed in the night. The girl and boy instinctively released their hands and began to run from something they had not seen. Something that was close; something animalistic – angry. A blood curdling scream filled the once serene night. The young man turned and watched as an enormous, hideous beast violently and easily ripped his girlfriend’s head from her body. Its glowing eyes, filled with hatred, turned to him now. He stood, paralyzed by fear. He smelled the sickening odor that was in the air just moments before. There was nowhere to run. There was no escape. Help would not come. For a few seconds, he felt his body being slashed and unraveled - his arm being torn away at the shoulder, his stomach being gutted. Then he stared up, dying, into sharp teeth. They wrapped around his face and in one crunching bite, his head crushed, then his lifeless, mutilated, body fell in a heap on the blood soaked sand.



    EDIT: This is a "skeleton" of part of the story.
     
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  8. SCall13

    SCall13 ThePhins QB

    Good quote, and it may very well be King.
     
  9. Alex44

    Alex44 Boshosaurus Rex

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    I like it SCall

    I'm still at the very very start of what I'm doing. What I tend to do (and probably shouldn't) is write a very loose scene and then edit it a million times before I move on.
     
  10. anlgp

    anlgp ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A

    It's king.

    And it's more than two hours.

    It's from his book "On Writing" which is a very well written book if anyone is interested.
     
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  11. Vendigo

    Vendigo German Gigolo Club Member

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    Nope. Because we don't actually like writing. We loathe writing. I've been writing for quite a couple of years now and I've managed to publish a thing or two but I've yet to meet a writer - at least a good one - who wouldn't freely admit that he it's not writing he likes; it's having written. To me, writing is the single most dull, exhausting and decidedly painful pastime I can imagine. The problem, of course, being that having written - having written well - is the single most rewarding and fulfilling experience short of having sex or taking all sorts of particularly illegal drugs.
     
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  12. anlgp

    anlgp ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A

    mmm, sex and all sorts of particularly illegal drugs.

    I agree with you Vendigo
     
  13. Alex44

    Alex44 Boshosaurus Rex

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    I wouldn't agree with that fully. Though I do agree sometimes it can be a real drag when you can't find the right words.

    I love writing. It can be a needed release of emotion at times. When you just have something stuck in your head....for me it's often a scene not even associated with something I'm working on....and you just HAVE to put it down somewhere.

    What gets me unmotivated is that I constantly compare myself to great writers I have read. I put my own work down and never feel it's quite good enough. That's what gets me down.
     
  14. Vendigo

    Vendigo German Gigolo Club Member

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    I see where you're coming from. And I agree - that's the fun part. The not so fun part commences when you've put down this "sketch" and realize that now you have about 20 pages of work to do to make it into a story (or 300 if you're bonkers enough to be a novelist). For me it's usually a single thought that kinda always starts with "Wouldn't it be cool if ...". For instance, the last story I wrote began with "Wouldn't it be cool if there had been vampires in Stalingrad." In my case, however, the cool part stops as soon as I've worked out the starting point and actually start typing words.
     
  15. Alex44

    Alex44 Boshosaurus Rex

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    Well, excuse the language but you're right that really is a b***h.

    I've always wanted to write something that long, but my style of writing in general just doesn't seem to work with it. I don't like to put details about how everything in a room looks and smells. I just like to get to the important parts, character thoughts, dialog, so on. So my writing tends to be short.
     
  16. Vendigo

    Vendigo German Gigolo Club Member

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    I'm absolutely with you. I loathe lengthy prose. Don't like to read it, don't like to write it. I mostly do short fiction - partly because I can't bring myself to pad out the whole thing with completely unnecessary narrative, partly because I can't bring myself to stick with the same idea for more than 50 pages - but you won't, of course, sell any of this stuff. Unless you're as good as, say, Harlan Ellison. No criticism whatsoever intended, but SCall's "skeleton" above would probably be at least three or four paragraphs shorter if I had written it.
     
  17. Vendigo

    Vendigo German Gigolo Club Member

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    That's certainly the weirdest kind of erection problem I've ever heard of!

    Naw, seriously: You want to write it for yourself or do you foster the wish to send it to a publisher after you're done? Because if you do, don't do first person. Doesn't sell.
     
  18. Alex44

    Alex44 Boshosaurus Rex

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    First person is extremely hard to write effectively. I'd say go third person. Your character has to be almost perfectly written for first person to really work in my opinion.

    First person can be great if it's done correctly though. Inferno by Larry Niven is a GREAT first person book.
     
  19. Vendigo

    Vendigo German Gigolo Club Member

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    You think so? Interesting. I happen to find it quite a lot easier than third person.
     
  20. SCall13

    SCall13 ThePhins QB

    It is easier to write in 3rd person. But I've written some pretty good stuff in 1st person. (Don't mean to sound like I'm bragging). In first person, you can give first hand details of the surroundings as opposed to describing them. I like that about 1st person. And it's not realy difficult to have god character development that way because the reader gets to know "you" and your description of the other people in the story is just as easily described as it would be in 3rd person. I'll post a 1st person narrative I wrote for a college class later for you guys to read.
     
  21. Alex44

    Alex44 Boshosaurus Rex

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    Whats funny is that I find it easier when I'm writing, but people NEVER like what I've written nearly as much.
     
  22. Alex44

    Alex44 Boshosaurus Rex

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    In first person though you can only describe what the main character can see. So if you're writing a specific genre, like sci-fi or fantasy for example, where a lot of different plot lines come into play it can be nearly impossible to really follow through with it. I'm sure for certain genre it might work better than third person though.
     
  23. Vendigo

    Vendigo German Gigolo Club Member

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    I've learned that people generally don't like reading first person narratives unless they are very good. Two friends of mine work at publishing houses and one of their guidelines is to reject first person narratives categorically.
     
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  24. SCall13

    SCall13 ThePhins QB

    That's a good idea about developing your characters before you write. I've done that before - actually with a book I'm currently writing. I put together all of my character's names and wrote all the details about them before I even started the story. It helps as you move along through the story because you already "know" them - you know there attitude, personality, quirks, habits, etc. That is a good way to start out, IMO.
     
  25. SCall13

    SCall13 ThePhins QB

    True. In this case, it would be very difficult to write in first person.
     
  26. SCall13

    SCall13 ThePhins QB

    There is certainly some truth in that.
     
  27. quelonio

    quelonio Season Ticket Holder

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    I actually disagree with that one. The process of discovering the plot and knowing the character while writing is quite fun. What really sucks is re-writing god is that a drag. I finished the first draft of my novel like a year ago. I hand write the first draft because that forces me to make a full rewrite, instead of just going back to parts I consider problems... this second draft (granted having to hold a 10 hour a day job does not help my productivity... but that is besides the point) has taken so looong it is just crawling. And it is hard to motivate myself to go over it and re examine it all.

    It is first person though, so if publishers refuse to publish first person narratives, I'm gonna be ****ed.
     
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  28. Alex44

    Alex44 Boshosaurus Rex

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    They publish books like Twilight dude. Just FINISH the book and have it coherent and you will find a way to get published. I'm sure you're great and if you ever get a chance to post some stuff we'd love to see it.
     
  29. Vendigo

    Vendigo German Gigolo Club Member

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    Ah ... one of the lucky people who can actually work with multiple drafts. I do envy you, mate. Personally, I'm re-writing while I type. The good part being that once I've written a page, as far as I'm concerned, it's good enough to go public. The bad part being that I don't produce more than, say, three or four pages a day at most. I simply can't do the "write 10 pages a day, re-write it later" routine. It's either good or I don't hit enter. Most of the time, I don't hit enter.
     
  30. Alex44

    Alex44 Boshosaurus Rex

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    I honestly wish I could write 3-4 pages a day. I get stuck doing 3-4 paragraphs a day. Sometimes less. Thats why I'm really trying to force myself to sit down, pay attention, and just WRITE now.
     
  31. quelonio

    quelonio Season Ticket Holder

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    I have this sort of obsession with not letting anyone read til I am done... at least with the draft. Also not to be a completely self absorved sounding person, but I would not post things up here without having registered the thing at the library of congress. I am paranoid like that (in all fairness to me, a friend of mine had a script stolen away because he sent it to another former friend of his to spell check it, without having taken it to register at the WGA or at library of congress... other dude submitted it as his own).

    Having said that... I do like talking writing.
     
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  32. quelonio

    quelonio Season Ticket Holder

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    I cant do that... I need to plow through the whole thing. But then that makes it harder to go back on it.

    What I do lack is discpline. I keep on telling myself that if I did not have to work and could do this for a living, I would find the will to do it. But to work staring at a computer for 9-12 hours and then come home and sit in front of a computer. Just not as easy as I would hope.
     
  33. PMZQ

    PMZQ Banned

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    Scall thanks for this thread :up:

    :sigh: My life dream is to publish my novel. I have several hundred pages sitting on a disc (and I have 2 extra copies just in case :lol:) and am not sure where it will take me, and how long to finish. It may never be finished. :wink2:

    I won't say exactly what it is about, but being written by me, you don't have to think to hard to guess about what one of its central conflicts is all about. :up:

    I am extremely lucky to have a very close friend that is a 1st class editor & Literature professor at a major university in Washington state. His guidence has been a godsend and sometimes I almost don't even recognize the paragraphs after he adds his midas touch.

    I also am very involved at this time in a great genealogical work, with my friend Marlene, and we hope to publish a non-fiction book of the complete listing of the decendants of Charlemagne (some 2,000,000 people so far). I am one of those decendants, so this is kind of a personal road of discovery. We have been working on this project since 2002, and our target date to finish right now is 2010.

    Everyone, best of luck on your projects :up:
     
  34. PMZQ

    PMZQ Banned

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    He works for Evergreen State College in Olympia and lives in a small town about 30-40 miles south called Bucoda. I'll ask him and see what he says.
     
  35. DevilFin13

    DevilFin13 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I'm not a writer but I did come across this piece of advice from Joss Whedon (a tv/film writer). And after reading what some of you had posted I figured I would post this. Its his advice for scriptwriting, but I think some of it can apply to any sort of writing.

     
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  36. NaboCane

    NaboCane Banned

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    On Writing is one of the best tomes on the subject; also check out Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott, which happens to also be one of the very best books I've read.

    Great lady too.
     
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  37. King Felix

    King Felix Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    ive started writing poetry. it would be amazing to get them published. my friend told me they are good enough but im not sure if she is just saying that to make me feel good about them
     
  38. NaboCane

    NaboCane Banned

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    Poetry is a tough gig.

    I have a book of poems I've had finished for years, no takers. And I've been published in small magz.

    Regardless, don't write for the reward; write because you have to, because you're compelled.
     
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  39. King Felix

    King Felix Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    im writing them for me, getting them published would just be a bonus

    well the ones ive done so far are pretty personal, and have to many things about them only the person i wrote them for will get. ill try and write one to post here.
     
  40. DrAstroZoom

    DrAstroZoom Canary in a Coal Mine Luxury Box

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