You know that state where you're mostly awake, but could still consider yourself somewhat asleep? I was there this morning and I thought of this idea for a book. The reason I got excited about it was b/c I could see it play out, from beginning to end really, like a movie. You know when something catches your attention like that, it could have some wind beneath it.
It was fictional though and I'm not much for fiction. I mean I've read a lot of course, but it's not my first choice. I've started books before, (I have many dead computers with the same book started over and over again, filed away in the back of a closet, waiting for man to invent a trash can for old computers) and logged in thousands and thousands of words, but never finished. I know ppl always tell you you never lose anything by writing, it's all good practice, but I hate wasting time. (Something you would never have guessed by my residence here on the HP's forum.)
I don't know... what do you all think? Should I go for it? I've never written a book to completion. Does anyone have any good advice?
Yes, write it down. You already know the story from start to finish. You can consider that old book as your practice, so it too wasn't in vain.
Ok, thanks. I should write an outline maybe. Once I go to work, half the story will probably blow out of my mind.
I wanted to verify an interview on PBS I saw with John Updike, but I couldn't find the quote. If memory serves me, he wasn't favorable toward outline-writing. I took that advice to heart. Here's a good quote from him, though.
"There may be some reason to question the whole idea of fineness and care in writing. Maybe
something can get into sloppy writing that would elude careful writing. I’m not terribly careful
myself, actually. I write fairly rapidly if I get going….In trying to treat words as chisel strokes,
you run the risk of losing the quality of utterance, the rhythm of utterance, the happiness."
I have 1556 words Jason. No outline, if I live to be a hundred, Ill never be that organized. Im actually very excited by the beginning. Yea!
Have you written down what you dreamed? At least have an idea what the major events will be and the personality of your main characters.
No, but that's b/c my main issue was knowing how to start the story. Somehow, I happened upon the start as I was browsing the history of the subject and the whole thing fell into place perfectly. I couldn't believe it... now it's just a matter of it spilling onto the paper. It may change a bit as I go, but that's ok, cause the main stuff is cemented now.
Many of my stories and even articles come to me that way. You go for it. I guarantee success.
Go for it Beth!
Make some notes, good on ya for holding the sleep thoughts long enough to even post here.
Why not try and write it for NaNoWriMo? (You could always use December as "your" month as it's a bit far into November to do it now).
Beth , short or long or in between ! Every story deserves to be heard , specially yours! Go for it !,,,,,,Ed
I think you should give it a try and stick with it this time around. You can end up writing something great that many will love and appreciate and enjoy.
Ok, thanks Beth. I appreciate it.
Im going to try to stick with it lovebuglena... my biggest problem isn't running out of ideas or words... it's the thought that nothing will come of it and Im wasting my time. Once that thought starts to settle, I begin setting it on the back burner until Ive tuned it out. I appreciate all the encouragement though. I really think its a good idea.
You know what I would suggest as a starting point? Use a digital voice recorder, and talk your idea through, start to finish, just as you envisioned it. Don't stop, try to think or mentally edit anything at that point. Just tell the story.
That way, you have your idea preserved, so you don't forget any of it. Then, you'll have a basis to just sit and transcribe from your own dictation.
After you have finished that, is the time to do the fleshing out, editing and polishing.
I bet you finish your book by using that technique!
The first thing that comes to my mind is to avoid perfection. Once you feel comfortable morally about the subject you are writing, just get the book done. Done is better than perfect. Over time your craft will improve anyway. Your art and message will also change over time, so it's better to catch the moment before it's gone.
"The secret of getting ahead is getting started."
How did specific ppl come up with so many amazing quotes? Do you think they just sat around all day, staring at the clouds, pontificating about what kind of wise or witty remark they could make that would last for generations and generations to come?
Im going to try and make up a quote of my own.. let's see... (clears voice).
"Some people light up a room, some people light up a town, but baby you're a firework, come on show em what your worth. Make em go ah ah ah as you shoot across the sky y y."
It's so deep and beautiful, even Mark Twain would be jealous.
Lol. I doubt Mark Twain had a jealous bone in his body.
Here's one for later in your book-writing journey:
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."
Great writers knew how to give great quotes.
**Confucius say** "Journey of a thousand miles begins with single step."
I have literally written a few thousand novels in my time, though never pursued getting anything seriously published until recently. Some I finish and some are still waiting for their perfect ending. You will even find that you have played through the same thing countless times in your head that it almost feels like a broken record as you type it out and you've lost your luster for that scene. Just push through until you can get to something fresher in your mind.
Also something I usually do is work on more than one at a time, it helps with writers block and gives me a break from one story line at one time. Dont think of writing as a waste of time, who knows what you may discover about yourself on your journey into your imagination.
Good luck and have fun, I hope you write your book :-) Its usually always worth it.
Thank you! I read several books at a time, but I hadn't thought of writing several at a time. lol
Im so excited about this one. The last fiction I can remember writing was when I was a kid. I guess the excitement is that the story possibilities are endless... it keeps me entertained as if I were reading a novel myself. The fun part is dreaming about the story plot during mundane times, like driving...
Exactly, I do all my best thinking in the shower. I am not sure why but while I am standing under the warm water things sort of just click into place. Its usually then and when I am laying in bed falling asleep. I am glad you are excited, its true with fiction you have all kinds of options and new ways you can go. Fiction is my favorite to write because you even have the option to surprise yourself. Good Luck :-)
I *really* need to win the lottery today as I *really* don't want to go to work. I have decided I have no passion for my job and I don't want to do it... ever... ever again.
Or... since I didn't buy any lottery tickets... I was thinking, if someone here could possibly lend me a couple of million, I could stop working and just concentrate on my book. I am fully expecting it to be a movie. So much so that I have already chosen the actors who will be starring in it... so if you would like to loan me the money, I will pay you back soon. Let me know and I will give you my contact info. Thanks!
A couple million? That's a really expensive first venture you're working on...
You probably didn't notice the part about it being a movie... possibly a sequel too so 2 million really, is like nothing.
Then you'll be getting at least two million up front from the publishing house and studio. You have absolutely nothing to worry about. No work for you today!
Will you call my boss for me? I'd have my mom do it, but then I'd have to call her and she'd probably make me talk... it's a whole thing.
Why would I kill something a fraction of my size that's just trying to get along like everything else? Makes no sense at all.
Don't you have a wife or gf? You do it for them. So silly.
Ahh, I see now. So it's women who are out to get spiders. I'm not saying spiders are aware of this news, but it's no wonder they bother women more than men.
Im just saying... if they acted less creepy, they'd get fewer complaints.
I have not been keeping at it much... too busy with work and this darn forum, but I have about 6K words... only 94,000 to go.
I haven't been very diligent, with work and the holidays, but I am over 14,000 for word count... and I have a bit of Carpel tunnel in my pinkie.
I know I would have just forgotten about this the next day, so I'm really grateful to everyone who offered encouragement. Thank you!
Good for you! You and many others who get ideas this way are proof positive that you never know where an idea will come from. Always write it down because you may forget it as fleetingly as it came to you.
You say you don't care for writing fiction. My take on it is that there's nothing wrong with writing that one book and then go back to what you're comfortable with. I always wanted to write historical fiction, but I get paid to write medical articles. Writing medical articles has become the work that pays the bills, and writing what I love has become the hobby.
There are some authors who write one book in a certain genre (listed inside book covers) and never write another in that genre again for their own reasons. It just gets buried in with all the successes. Maybe the idea for it came to them as yours did, maybe they were commissioned to write it, whatever the reason, they found it wasn't for them, and never wrote in that genre again. They went back to what was successful for them.
I'm glad you wrote it down and are working on it here and there. Good ideas should never go to waste, especially if you have the whole layout from beginning to end.
"I never wrote a book I didn't like, but I've written a few I didn't love."
I so appreciate your encouragement. As I write the book, I remember little things ppl here have said to me and it feels like a little reminder that it's all going well.
I loved Erma Bombeck growing up. She was so funny, but she could be so poignant at times. There was something she wrote once... I think it was about her mom or kids... something very sweet. Im gonna look for it and then I'll post it here. Thanks again.
Glad to hear the book's coming along, Beth.
I was also a fan of Erma Bombeck. I read "If Life Is A Bowl Of Cherries, Why Am I Always In The Pits" as a teenager and loved it. I also took a lot of wisdom and hope from it into my adult years.
And I also took a LOT from her if I had it do over poem that she wrote when she was dying...for some reason, the line that always sticks with me is..."I'd have burned the rose-shaped candle that melted in storage."
I said that to say this: a good friend from HP who is a published novelist three times over now reminds me often that we regret the most NOT doing the things we dream of doing. If no one ever reads this novel, it won't matter-the dream is to write it, and that's what you are doing-living that dream. Good for you!
Best of luck, sister. Wishing you all the best.
Yes! That was the essay I was referring to that I meant to post and never did. I should post it now, b/c it's just so poignant. Thanks for reminding me.
If I Had My Life To Live Over
The following was written by the late Erma Bombeck
after she found out she had a fatal disease.
If I had my life to live over, I would have talked less and listened more.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.
I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.
I would have cried and laughed less while watching television - and more while watching life.
I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.
I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner."
There would have been more "I love you's".. More "I'm sorrys" ...
But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute... look at it and really see it ... live it...and never give it back.
© Erma Bombeck
How do you feel about your book so far?
I'm loving it. Writing comes so easily to me. It remains to be seen if reading it will be tolerable for anyone. Thanks for asking.
I'm sure it will be eminently readable, but you didn't answer the question! How do you FEEL about your book? Have you given thought to where you're going to publish it?
lol. I was daydreaming today about how exciting it would be to say, "Ive published my book and the publisher is.... Random House." Cause that's the only name that popped into my head. Then I was like, 'Is Random House a publisher or is that the Ed McMahon Sweepstakes thing? I promise I read a lot. My husband was even in publishing for over ten years... Im just a screwball. It's embarrassing. So I don't care who publishes it (as if.) I just know who I want to play the parts in the movie when that comes out. I feel good about it, to answer your question. I was telling my husband, it's genre is: romantic, comedy, sci-fi, historical novel, with a spiritual slant. So... basically all my interests rolled into one.
Yes, Random House has cornered the publishing market. Your husband can help you with query letters then. When your book is ready, put them out to all the respectable publishing houses you find. Don't get frustrated when you get to this point; and don't give up. Of course, you must not forget to watch the movies Sideways and Wonder Boys for inspiration and reality check.
Oh, and you can't play all the parts in your book turned movie. You're not Milton Berle; you're Gracie Allen.
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