Question for people wanting to write a novel...

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  1. Shadesbreath profile image79
    Shadesbreathposted 13 years ago

    Ok, so, I've started this post several times over the last few weeks and keep deleting it.  Maybe this time I'll get to the end and leave it up.

    I'm going to be writing another novel this summer (my fourth).  I've been working on the idea for a few years, and the last piece fell into place a few months back, so I've been outlining for the last two months or so.

    I've spoken to people at HP, and there is some degree of support for this proposition.  Might be able to get a stickied thread for the experience we make along the way. I will post my progress daily, people can try to keep up.

    So, AND I'M NOT PROMISING anything only proposing an idea, but, if I were to include as part of my writing regimen posting a word count and maybe a line or two of my daily production that I thought was good... or something... at the end of each day in the name of a sort of HubPages NaNoWriMo (but a 2 or 3 month one), would anyone be interested in knocking down a first draft of that elusive first novel (or second etc.) with me? 

    I am still a little reluctant to commit to the "bloggy" thing, but I have been down this road a few times before, so I am confident I will finish mine.  I will finish mine faster than you finish yours, honestly. However, I will check in daily or damn close to it and help where I can for the summer.  The HP community has been a very rewarding thing for me.  This is my attempt to "give something back."  At the very least I'll check in long enough to say, "Today sucked, I wrote 17 words and they were all terrible.  Screw all of you."  That is how it goes sometimes day to day, and perhaps you will be amused by the mood swings... and inspired to see that everyone spikes and valleys on the way to finishing a draft.

    So, yeah.  Opinions?  Is this worth my time?  Would anyone benefit from this?  I mean really, to.  Don't blow smoke up my ass if you just want to say, "Yeah, I'll do it," to look like you are a real writer.  It's okay if you fall off along the way, but please just don't say anything right now if you aren't really deep down wanting to dig in and finally do it.

    1. profile image0
      cosetteposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      hi. sorry not sure what you are asking...are you asking if someone wants to co-author a novel with you, or are you asking if someone wants to write a novel while you write one and check each other's progress as you go along...?

      1. Shadesbreath profile image79
        Shadesbreathposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Oh, perhaps my OP was horrible.

        I am going to write my novel. I don't need help or advice.  I've written several.  I am volunteering to track my progression and try to help others go too.  Like a 30 hubs in 30 days challenge, except instead of feeding HP hubs it will be more of a 90,000 words in 90 Days for HP writers to get novels done.

        I'm going to write my novel this summer whether I do this forum thing or not.  I was just given to think it might be fun, inspiring and in the spirit of community to get folks who want to write one, but who can't do the 30 day thing of NaNoWriMo (plus the time of year), and ... etc. 

        Yeah, I don't need help.  Mine will get done.  I'm just trying to use my energy, experience and focus to help HP folks.  If it seems useful.  If not, that's fine too.  One less thing on my plate... no stress of 'letting anyone down' etc.

        But it could be fun, and very rewarding.

  2. TheGlassSpider profile image64
    TheGlassSpiderposted 13 years ago

    Opinion? An excellent idea! Yes, it's worth your time. Yes, people could benefit.

    Bottom line: I wish I COULD do it...but the timing is incredibly terrible as I've just committed to my biggest freelancing contract ever. Not to mention...I've no idea what to write about...and maybe I just don't have the ba..*cough* cojones. wink

    It'd be cool though. It's an awesome idea, and while I don't think I could do it...I'd love to see what came of it.

    Congratulations on that final piece falling together! I'm sure it will be good work.

    1. Shadesbreath profile image79
      Shadesbreathposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Believe it or not, I've done a lot of soul searching on this. It adds pressure, in a way, that I don't really need. Will piss me off if I waste time on it for people who don't make an honest attempt.  But if I could drag one person to the "the end" part of a manuscript, no matter how good or bad it was.  Getting a first one done is life changing.  And it's not even that hard.  It just intimidates the shit out of people, so they don't do it.  You get the first one done, even if it sucks, the good ones become possible.

      And, for what its worth, if you want to play along, I'm not starting till after the semester ends, which means not till end of May or, more likely, early June.

      1. TheGlassSpider profile image64
        TheGlassSpiderposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Hmmm...that's awfully tempting. I will give this serious thought. I have been kicking myself for not being as creative as I ought to. I've been playing around with an old poetry MS...but it's not going as well as I had hoped.

        *gears turning...* I will think on this. Definitely.

  3. AEvans profile image73
    AEvansposted 13 years ago

    Checkout Fiction Factory on HP he can give great opinions he certainly has helped quite a few of us with ours. smile

  4. Falsor Wing profile image60
    Falsor Wingposted 13 years ago

    I want to make sure I understand you. you want to write a novel at the same time other hubber(s) are doing their own and collaborate together?

    I've  finished one novel (the terrible first one you speak of) and have 8 in various stages of completion. If I understand your suggestion correctly I think I would absolutly be willing to try this. hmmm this seems more like it needs a chatroom or an email. if you havent replied in 15 minutes or so I think I'll email you.

    btw shade are you published?

    1. Shadesbreath profile image79
      Shadesbreathposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      No, not collaborating.  I'm writing mine.  Others write theirs.  We just share energy... motivation... discipline.  Frankly, discipline is what I'm really contributing.  The rest is on everyone else.

      Yes, I'm published.  No novels, but short work and articles (mostly humor, but some academic stuff) and no, I'm not talking about HubPages "published" but actual print.  However, my point is not to highlight my very mediocre at best success.  I'm just another writer like the rest of you. But, I may have more discipline and practice at finishing than most do.  That's what I bring to this. That's what I'm willing to share.

      1. Falsor Wing profile image60
        Falsor Wingposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Ah I see. There is an extremely high chance I may be all in for this. though at the moment I'm having sort of a crisis of
             "which of my projects would be best to work on, should I try and super edit modsoldiers so it's actually good (is it possible even?), should I go ahead and resume work on The One I know has great potential but think I'll fuck up if I try to finish it before I;m skilled enough. or try to finish one of the other projects that might be good but I really have no way of knowing?"

        I think I'm basically freaking out because it looks like trying to get a novel published will take massive amounts of time and effort over an extended period of time. I want to have some assurance that the manuscript I start that process with has a fair chance of actually succeeding at the end of all that time and effort. right now I have no way of knowing weather or not I'm wasting my time.

        hmmm sorry this kind of turned into a rambling blog post. perhaps I should see if anyone else shows interest in this idea of yours.

        1. Shadesbreath profile image79
          Shadesbreathposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          For starters, you are totally correct and a novel does take a long time.  Writing a first draft to the end is only part of the journey.  Not even a very big part, frankly.

          However, that's sort of the upside.  You are loading yourself up with concepts like "succeeding at the end" or "wasting" time.  You aren't wasting time if you love to write.  Your only measure of success or failure is if you succeed in doing something you enjoy.  If you discover something about yourself in the process of writing.

          AS far as which project you work on, it doesn't matter which.  It's not going to be "done" anyway.  It's just going to be written from start to finish so you actually know what you have.  Revising is when it takes shape.  People always want to go back and tidy up their stories, edit and revise, when it's not written out the first time yet.  That's like making course corrections as you drive towards a destination you haven't determined yet.  Some people edit to avoid moving forward, because they don't have a destination.  But that just means they stand still and make the motionlessness seem busy.

          That's just my two cents.

        2. Fiction Factory profile image68
          Fiction Factoryposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          You could get one or more of your manuscripts critiqued. It usually takes about one week, and there is a growing amount of people here on HubPages available to help with such things.

  5. Rafini profile image70
    Rafiniposted 13 years ago

    Okay, I'm willing.  In fact, I've already started.  It's my first book, the first story I actually finished a rough draft for, the only story I've created an outline for.  But, I haven't gotten very far for the main reason of not being disciplined as a writer.  Just knowing how to write doesn't get you very far if you don't know how to make yourself write on a regular basis - I thought the past 10 years of journaling would have disciplined me, but it hasn't. 

    So, what are you proposing?  Daily check-ins on the forum?  Or some kind of hub on progress?

    1. Shadesbreath profile image79
      Shadesbreathposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Yeah, I was thinking daily check ins on a forum, maybe stickied in the writing forums.  Just so that people have a touch point, you know?  Something like:

      I wrote 1850 words today.  At page 74.  Got some dialogue in that I really like.  I actually wrote, "...[dialogue example]..." and laughed out loud.  So at least I'm amusing myself.

      Hopefully others will do likewise, and people's energy will be mutually encouraging.  I can give whatever advice I'm capable of if people need it, or encouragement (to a point anyway).  Etc.

      At least that's the concept as I see it in my head.

      1. Rafini profile image70
        Rafiniposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Okay, I'm in. smile

    2. Fiction Factory profile image68
      Fiction Factoryposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      What is being suggested here is a noble idea, and this sort of exchange could be very helpful. But realistically speaking, this will require some more heavy intervention to keep some people on track. Exchanges of progress, ideas; that's fine. But we will also need critique, mentoring, help to structure the works, etc. to those in need of this.

      1. Shadesbreath profile image79
        Shadesbreathposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I think that critique will prevent people from writing.  They will depend on the opinions of others, they will wait for them (have yet another excuse to put off writing for another day), and they will be looking backward at what they have written yesterday instead of writing forward to discover what the story is about. 

        This project, at least as I intend it, is not for people who have no idea what to write.  This assumes they have a novel idea and want to do it.  I will direct them to my hub on how to finish a first novel, regarding novel outlining if they don't have a structure they already use (there's a month and a half to plan and outline before it starts, which is why I brought this up now).  They can get cracking on that outline now if they want, and I will help if anyone asks on here with what I know.

        But as far as the writing is concerned, there is no reason to slog down with the opinions of others until you actually have a draft of your own. A "finished" first draft.  Forming an idea, sure bouncing ideas off other people is great, but in writing it, just write it.  The idea you had is going to change in the writing process anyway, no matter how much you plan.  People do too much talking, too much thinking, too much fearing.  Not enough writing. 

        I realize there is more than one way to skin a cat.  My way is simply to make your outline, and then start writing.  Every day, for a minimum period of time each day, until you reach a certain goal (word count or target "finish" date).  You write and you keep going until you have something.  It may have parts that you know aren't just the way you want.  It assumes major revisions.  But until you have SOMETHING, you have NOTHING.  Nothing to critique and nothing to revise. How can you fix something when you don't know what it is?  It's about discipline and writing.

        1. Haunty profile image74
          Hauntyposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          From personal experience, I can say that this is sadly true. I will never again critique a novel until it is fully written and considered finished by the author.

          1. Fiction Factory profile image68
            Fiction Factoryposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            I can relate to this experience as well.

        2. Fiction Factory profile image68
          Fiction Factoryposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          I meant critique of the sort of people in profound doubt having someone to ask, to help keep their project on track. Also, keep in mind that not everyone plan and write their stories in a linear fashion. With an accelerated scheme as you are suggesting, some kind of coaching may help some authors from falling too far behind.

          1. Shadesbreath profile image79
            Shadesbreathposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            Yeah, I figure some folks will need a pep talk.  If they come on and are having issues that are hindering them, we can talk them through.   The main thing is that if they are writing every day, then the problems they are having will be problems with writing, which is the kind of problems that are great, as opposed to problems with how to start, or what to write, or all the other stuff that people gripe about as an excuse to not just sit down and write.

            If you want to volunteer to help pick up the people with those types of issues, that would be great.  I doubt I'll be up to too much babysitting since I'm going to be spending my time on MY project, not everyone elses.  I'm more in favor of a roll as drill sergeant on this, with a little bit of support group thing as needed.

  6. wrenfrost56 profile image55
    wrenfrost56posted 13 years ago

    I think it's a great idea, I have been working on something for an absolute age and this might just be what I need to get it done, once and for all! smile

  7. sagbee profile image57
    sagbeeposted 13 years ago

    I just need a publisher who has the guts to publish my noble novel.. hahahaha..

  8. Fiction Factory profile image68
    Fiction Factoryposted 13 years ago

    What you are saying here reflects my thinking exactly. Since you are so tough and busy, someone has to carry the water bottles.

    1. Shadesbreath profile image79
      Shadesbreathposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      lol.  Good analogy.  Although it's not really about being "so tough."  Especially not the "so" part.  It's just recognition that writing a novel is work.  If people approach it as that--as a project like folding a monstrously huge pile of laundry or digging a mile long trench--and get past the dreamy, romantic notions of novel making, they have a much better chance of success. You have a story.  Write it.  It's really that simple for a first draft.

  9. Fiction Factory profile image68
    Fiction Factoryposted 13 years ago

    I'm sure you'll be only so tough as necessary to set a good example for others. Everything sounds good.

  10. TheGlassSpider profile image64
    TheGlassSpiderposted 13 years ago

    Hey Shades...I saw you in the other thread.

    Here's a hypothetical situation for you:

    If I just happen to have come across a little bit inspiration for a novel-length work...and if I happened to write up a mini-outline of the idea...could I email it to you for your opinion on the quality?

    *gears are still turning on this endeavor*


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