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Question about writing novels


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#1    NightMoon

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Posted 08 May 2004 - 07:32 PM

Hello,

Question... I've just finished writing a novel by hand. I guess the next stage must be to type it all out. I haven't got a typewriter and don't fancy using them because they're messy and noisy. So what is the best thing to do?

I've got microsoft word but I'm going to have annoying problems with it. Word doesn't recognise creative writing, as it keeps wanting to spell check names, and alter certain punctuations where it doesn't need to be. The word programme is for writing letters, documents and essays only. What can I do? I can't imagine typing out my novel and facing all that bother of going through spell checking names, and that will put me off. Advice appreciated please  original.gif  


#2    jenk

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Posted 08 May 2004 - 08:50 PM

              Your a step ahead of me at least. I have 3 books that I just cant finish wrighting.  My muse has fleed more for awhile and it's very annoying! wacko.gif

            I would either get a better typing program or just typ it up on the MW any way.  Good luck on the book! thumbsup.gif  

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#3    saucy

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Posted 08 May 2004 - 10:13 PM

I'm an experienced writer (I don't say it to brag, but to let you know I have experience)  Most publishing companies will not accept novels unless they are typed and the margins are a certain size and the pages are double spaced so they can write comments.  When it comes to the spelling of names, you don't have to continue spell checking.  I admit Microsoft Word keeps underlining a few sentences that I know is correct, but once you get past that sentence it will no longer bother you.  Names can be added to the memory of the computer.  If a name is underlined that you know is correct, just simply click ADD and it will from now on be any other typical word.  I hope that makes sense.  Try to make your novel as perfect as possible, but if it's not, don't worry because that's the job of the editor.  I think it's awesome that you wrote it out by hand first because now as you add it to the computer, you might think of a few things to add to certain parts and make the story better.  Good luck to you and if you have any questions, please add a reply or PM me!  


#4    tendo

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Posted 08 May 2004 - 10:50 PM

i have a question, even tho that comment wasnt aimed at me...i REALLY wanna be a writer, and i have one short story, and a bunch of poems that i could publish, but i dont want to publish them, until i put out a novel, that way, ppl actually know who i am...and, well, i started a novel (or rather finished) with influence from my grampa and grampa's relationship, and mine and my g/f's relationship. but, all i could think of was the last paragraph of the book...and, its a good ending, i think n e ways. and, well, my question is how do i write the rest? i just, cant seem to think of n e thing! ive tried novels b4, but it was the other way around. i could think of a beginning, but nothing else. so, if u have any tips on how to get my literary wheels a grindin, let me know...plz.

p.s. heres that last paragraph to my romantic novel (not a romance, just a novel based on romance, no sex at all, just 'pg' rated romantic stuff. it may sound creepy, but focus on the love he has for her, not the fact that she's dead...

'and as he looked ove the casket he kissed her lifeless lips, still softer than the satin that she lay in, and whispered into her deaf ears as he grasped her cold hand, 'i love you more.'

the title of the novel will also be ' i love you more' so, if u have n e thing to say, say it, good or bad


#5    chico del nacho

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Posted 08 May 2004 - 10:55 PM

i'm far too much of a self-critic to ever write a novel...i tyr to start one and end up deleting everything. but, i may soon get a writing job for a tv show and man, i'd be lying if i said i wasn't excited. i know this really has nothing to do with the thread title or anything, i just really needed to get it out there.

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#6    saucy

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Posted 08 May 2004 - 11:49 PM

First of all, Chico, I'm the same way.  I end up saying it's the worst thing I've ever written or I end up re-writing something that's really good.  That's just the way the good writers are; we want it to be perfect and strive to make it that way.  Sometimes we just have to let go.  Secondly, sounds like you have a good story there tendo.  People will usually recognize you by your first story, but you won't become known until your second or third, if you know what I mean.  John Grisham wrote his first novel which made crap for money until he published his second and when people saw he wrote two novels and liked the second, they went out and bought the first.  Usually you won't be able to get a short story published by itself.  Perhaps you should have a story book collection as your first published work.  Love poems along with short love stories will be enough to get your foot in the door and if people see and enjoy your short stories, they will be willing to buy the longer novel.  When trying to get the wheels rolling on your novel, the best thing to do is not rush it.  Most of my ideas come to me when I'm walking or taking a shower.  If you sit at the desk and try to push ideas out, it won't happen.  I can turn your story into something longer and enjoyable, but I don't know the whole story and what you want to get from it.  I would suggest starting out as youngsters, the couple just friends, then move to when they first start dating, skip forward to puberty and the trials of middle and high school where the relationship is tested, perhaps they break up after high school because they separate for college or something, then by pure miracle and chance, they find each other and get together again and they eventually get married, have kids, then one of them gets cancer at a young age, about forty or so and dies and you continue with the remaining one who has trouble in life without his/her spouse trying to raise the children until the kids move out then he/she debates and struggles with the idea of finding someone else.  I don't know.  You can use any one of those ideas.  Good luck and I'm here for you to bounce any ideas off of.  Remember, don't rush the ideas.  A great novel takes time and no matter how good you think you are, you need to grow.  Try to get a few of your poems published in magazines.  Readers Digest, I believe, pays for your love poems and short stories so that's a good way to get your name out there.  Good luck again!


#7    Seraphina

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Posted 08 May 2004 - 11:54 PM

QUOTE
but i dont want to publish them, until i put out a novel, that way, ppl actually know who i am


To be honest, I'd recomend you do it the other way. For a start, a short story by an unknown writer is far, far more likely to be accepted by a publisher than a novel, and it would allow critics to get a flavour of your work. Publishing a succesful short story is far more likely to get you off the ground quickly than persuing a novel, which you may or may not get accepted.

Keep your novel as a background task, until you've made a name for yourself wink2.gif


QUOTE
and, well, my question is how do i write the rest?


I'd start by planning my characters before I even put pen to paper...it's far easier to flesh out a story if you've at least got an idea of the characters, their relationships, their histories, and so on. You don't need their life stories, but you should have enough, at least, to have a feel for the character's personality, moods, and inclinations.

Next, make a flow chart...some writers do this, some don't. I only do for large projects...just make a list of major events you'd like to have occur, listing them in chronological order, as the story moves from one point to the other. Since you already have an ending, it might be an idea to work backwards when doing this.

Nobody can really tell you what to write...at the end of the day, creativity is about what you want to put in the story; unless you have some idea of that, it's probably not a story you're particuarly interested in telling. If you're ever going to work your way through an entire novel, you need to have a real passion for the tale you're telling...not just a rough idea of what the last paragraph will be.

Last resort would be to put it on hold until you have more writing experience, and see if you've got any other ideas....however, I would see about those short stories before you even start on a novel; it's alright to have a brain child, but it should be your main event, not your opener wink2.gif  

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#8    saucy

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Posted 09 May 2004 - 12:02 AM

Seraphina is right.  Write out the character's name, age, maybe a little background, but don't write out or plan the novel.  I write the novel as it comes to me, but that's me.  I don't confine the story to what I wrote down in the plan.  It makes for a better story that way.  Anything should and can be a possibility in the story.  There's nothing you can't do in the story.  


#9    Seraphina

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Posted 09 May 2004 - 12:06 AM

QUOTE
I don't confine the story to what I wrote down in the plan.


Nobody says you have to stick to the events of the flow diagram religiously tongue.gif However, it's far better to have an idea of where the plot is going, and what major events are going to happen in the story, than to have things proceeding randomly. You'll usually leave too many loose ends, introduce far too many incidental characters on a whim, and end up having to rewrite massive chunks of your work.

Writing a song or a poem is spontanious, writing a novel is a thoughtful and difficult process. You can flesh out your origonal plan, or change it as much as you like occording to what occurs to you as you go on...but heading in blind is the fastest way to cause a mess, and an editors nightmare wink2.gif ESPECIALLY if all you have is that last, vague paragraph.

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#10    Angelfish

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Posted 09 May 2004 - 08:35 AM

Writing is fun!
Although I'm not very good at it **glances around the room at the binders, notebooks and diaries filled with unfinished stories**
Ye...ah.....
....
......
....
.......
....
......
....
Okie, I'll shutup now. whistling2.gif


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Ya know, a few days ago I found a better explaination(sp?) for Angelfish than "Cus it sounds cool".
But than I realized there was no one around to hear it, and I got really depressed.
I hope you all intend to make me feel better.

#11    doomgirl

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Posted 09 May 2004 - 09:10 AM

Word isn't just for writing letters, you can, as I do use it to write stories, you just have to tell it how to behave. Like for names, all you have to do is add it to the dictionary and it will never both you again. Or if you like you can go to Tool's, Spelling and Grammer, Custom Dictionary, Modify and add anything there that you wish to stop the spell checker from picking up

Goto Tool's, Spelling and Grammer, Options, Settings. It is with in there that you can tell it how to behave for writing a novel

I know it is for romance novels, but they really do have a lot of good pointers here http://www.eharlequin.com/cms/learntowrite...te/ltwToc.jhtml

There is some good information here as well

http://www.eggplant-productions.com/newbie...wbie_writer.pdf

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#12    tendo

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Posted 09 May 2004 - 12:32 PM

QUOTE
If you're ever going to work your way through an entire novel, you need to have a real passion for the tale you're telling...not just a rough idea of what the last paragraph will be.


thnx for the help seraphina. i do have quite a few ideas as to whats going on in the novel. its just that so far ive only written the last paragraph. sorry if i made ya think otherwise. and that flowchart idea...surprisingly, never thought of that.

QUOTE
one of them gets cancer at a young age, about forty or so and dies


the couple is based on me and my g/f...(10 months today!  grin2.gif ) and i know its the female that is going to die at the end, but i find it weird to write of my g/f's death of cancer at an early age tho. all your other ideas tho, fantastic. im sure ill use some of em.

and, um, my short story...idk if i could get it published. its not that i dont think its not good, i do think its good. not great, but good. but its about a heroine addict. if ya want, let me know, and ill post a brief summary of the story. my english teacher and all my friends said it was really good. but, idk...

Edited by tendo, 09 May 2004 - 12:37 PM.


#13    saucy

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Posted 09 May 2004 - 01:11 PM

you can certainly post it if you wish, though I rarely take the time to read a super long post.  I'm a busy guy!  When it comes to your story being based off your girlfriend's death, I understand how that can be a little scary, but there will be a lot in this story that's not about your relationship.  However entertaining your 10-month relationship may have been (congratulations!), it won't be good and long enough for a novel.  As much as you want to base it on her....don't.  She might read something she doesn't like and if you publish it, she can sue you or get really mad because the whole world will now know!!!!!!   Write a story based upon a fictional girl and add some similarities.  The whole cancer thing doesn't have to happen, but it adds the element of sadness that the audience will feel for the remaining mail character.  She doesn't have to die young or anything, but the younger a character dies, it adds shock and surprise value to the story and if you write it correctly, the audience will love the female character because you love her as you write about her and if she dies, they will be saddened and add to the value of the story.  She can die during childbirth and the male is left to raise a daughter and that adds to another set of plot struggles for him as she grows up without a mother.  It will come to you, just don't give up like so many writers do.  


#14    tendo

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Posted 09 May 2004 - 04:35 PM

QUOTE
As much as you want to base it on her....don't. She might read something she doesn't like and if you publish it, she can sue you or get really mad because the whole world will now know!!!!!


haha, no no no, im not putting ne thing personal in, and it is basically fictional girl, some similarities (they arent even gonna look the same), so don't worry there...lol

as for that summary:
heroine addict, girl who loves him, finds him after overdose. go to hospital, boy and girl become couple, boy promises to not do heroine, boy uses heroine, girl gets upset, he promises again, boy uses again, girl gets upset and drives off, is t-boned by bug truck, boy holds her dead in his arms, after funeral, parents argue, boy kills himself.


#15    Seraphina

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Posted 09 May 2004 - 05:01 PM

... blink.gif ....

But aside from all that, it's a riproaring comedy wink2.gif  

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