WritersEra |OT| Publish before you die

I gotta get back into writing. I have 120 pages of a novel and am barely a fifth into the story I wanted to tell. And I can't do NaNo this year because I gotta start writing my thesis. Blah.
 
I actually vary a lot depending on the type of book I'm writing - no two of mine have had the same process.

For my large-scale fantasy novel I did a full plot structure and breakdown, summaries of all the major characters and background documents on the way the world worked before I ever started the first chapter, whereas my character-driven horror novel was literally made up as I went along barring a few vague notes about the ending.

I'm working on a murder mystery at present, which involves detailed timelines of how the day of the crime went hour-by-hour, but I'm also working on a YA fantasy with only a vague skeleton of a plot before I started it.

For my poetry I start with a single line or phrase and try to grow the poem around it on all sides, though this sometimes takes an interminable amount of time.

My contracted video game work, meanwhile, needed a formal pitch and detailed structure before they'd approve me writing any of it.
 
Personally I do a bit of both planning and writing spontaneously--I guess the term now is "plantser."

I do a little bit of planning, just to get a general idea of the characters and the plan for the story. But a lot of sequences I write on the spot and see what comes out. It really depends on the moment, because sometimes my creativity stops and I need to plan and develop a bit of information before I continue.

However, both of the novels I'm writing I have the general idea of the story--the beginning, the general "middle" and the end--in my head. I don't have specific details or exact outlines, but I know where it is supposed to go. I find that I just need to know the direction I'm going, then I can let the creativity take me there with a little bit of planning along the way to keep going.
 
I wasn't happy with the original ending of my novel and decided to rewrite it, and oh my God, I'm having a hard time. I'm always a slow and procrastinating writer, but this time it's painful. I don't know if it is because my mental health is in shambles, but I have this policy of sleeping around midnight, and I wait all day long doing shit, and when its finally midnight I feel guilty and start writing like an idiot. Then I go to sleep late and feel like shit the next day. Feels like my mind and body refuse to work on it, almost feeling like I hate it, and my progress is fueled by guilt.
 
My process is kinda random. Usually, I get a spark of an image, start to write it, and try to build up from that. That's how I get most of my short stories done. It's almost always in one sitting cause I have a tough time coming back to things. That's also why I have difficulties working on novels. Sometimes I do try and plan stuff out but I usually prefer to keep it in my head. I've recently tried a much more loose planning method where I keep a loose scattering of ideas at the end of my document that's been working okay for me. The most planning I'll do is with my characters. Sometimes I just try and ramble as much as I can about the characters from what they look like to what they're thinking to what they're personal narration would sound like. I basically just vomit paragraphs about them so I can get a better feel about who they are.

Anyways, this Nano is going to be the first year I do exclusively electronic notes so I'm hoping that'll make for an easier time moving things around.
 
I created a WordPress site a little to post onionie type articles. Past couple years, my screenwriting has been highly infrequent, to put it lightly. On the one hand, I enjoy the lack of gate keeping. No one has to sign off on your stuff for it to be real. Nor is there the same type of "Okay, I'll do you a favor and read the first couple pages of this thing." But I'm also accutely aware that this is just a random website that no one is reading. Anyone else in the same boat? How does one get a mild amount of readers?

Also: my site is Danielwastesyourtime.com
 
I created a WordPress site a little to post onionie type articles. Past couple years, my screenwriting has been highly infrequent, to put it lightly. On the one hand, I enjoy the lack of gate keeping. No one has to sign off on your stuff for it to be real. Nor is there the same type of "Okay, I'll do you a favor and read the first couple pages of this thing." But I'm also accutely aware that this is just a random website that no one is reading. Anyone else in the same boat? How does one get a mild amount of readers?

Also: my site is Danielwastesyourtime.com
I have a wordpress site too, though I don't update very frequently. My most-trafficked stuff is typically video game related or poetry of all things. I used to post a lot of poetry--mostly bad--and get a decent amount of comments/follows off of it. Not sure why.
 
I created a WordPress site a little to post onionie type articles. Past couple years, my screenwriting has been highly infrequent, to put it lightly. On the one hand, I enjoy the lack of gate keeping. No one has to sign off on your stuff for it to be real. Nor is there the same type of "Okay, I'll do you a favor and read the first couple pages of this thing." But I'm also accutely aware that this is just a random website that no one is reading. Anyone else in the same boat? How does one get a mild amount of readers?

Also: my site is Danielwastesyourtime.com
I dunno post stuff? Expose yourself properly through appropriate hashtags? Incidentally, I went through your site and your little articles are hilarious I was rolling with the Kate Miccuci thing.
 
I have a wordpress site for my writing here.

I used to accrue readers by advertising on webcomics, but then Project Wonderful fell off a cliff. I'm not doing much to attract people at the moment because I haven't posted any new chapters in a while - I'm still revising a bunch (about a year's worth), and I don't want to start releasing them until they're ready.

I created a WordPress site a little to post onionie type articles. Past couple years, my screenwriting has been highly infrequent, to put it lightly. On the one hand, I enjoy the lack of gate keeping. No one has to sign off on your stuff for it to be real. Nor is there the same type of "Okay, I'll do you a favor and read the first couple pages of this thing." But I'm also accutely aware that this is just a random website that no one is reading. Anyone else in the same boat? How does one get a mild amount of readers?

Also: my site is Danielwastesyourtime.com
Quick piece of advice: grey text on a light grey background is a terrible idea! I'm half blind and can barely read it...
 
Tomorrow I start editing my first novel again. I want to wash my hands of it for self publishing, but I also haven't looked at it in like four or five years (with the exception of one chapter this year which was rough as hell). I'm kinda wondering what mindset I should take into it. It's been through five drafts before, so it shouldn't be bad, but I do know my style has changed since writing it.
Any tips or just rando advice?
 
Don't touch it. Just self-publish and never look at it again. I had a similar thing where I looked back at a serious short story I tried to shop around for a pro pay that I wrote in 2016 and it was near unreadable. Like it was technically fine, but I couldn't help but cringe every other page.
The thing is, it got a nice handful of agent bites when I shopped it around. Professionals responded to the writing to some degree. I'm hoping it can't be THAT bad.
 
The thing is, it got a nice handful of agent bites when I shopped it around. Professionals responded to the writing to some degree. I'm hoping it can't be THAT bad.
If you were actually getting personalized responses from agents, then you're right, your writing couldn't have been that bad. Agents don't bother personalizing responses to queries 85% of the time, unless it's to request more from a query, or to make note of writing they like but can't do anything with, they'll just send a form reply. So I'd take that as a good sign that you were on the right track if you were getting some positive responses.
 
If you were actually getting personalized responses from agents, then you're right, your writing couldn't have been that bad. Agents don't bother personalizing responses to queries 85% of the time, unless it's to request more from a query, or to make note of writing they like but can't do anything with, they'll just send a form reply. So I'd take that as a good sign that you were on the right track if you were getting some positive responses.
Yeah, I got a few of those and some requests for a full/partial. It wasn't like, a super high percent, but it wasn't abysmal either. But I do know that my style has changed, going from a pretty standard third-person to a third-person subjective. Everything else has probably improved too, so I dont' know how upset I'll be at the book until I crack it open.
 
I dunno post stuff? Expose yourself properly through appropriate hashtags? Incidentally, I went through your site and your little articles are hilarious I was rolling with the Kate Miccuci thing.
Thank you. That means a lot.

Quick piece of advice: grey text on a light grey background is a terrible idea! I'm half blind and can barely read it...
Yeah, I know. The theme I got right now makes it hard to change the paragraph font without changing it elsewhere that make it unreadable. I need to figure it all out. Or maybe switch themes.
 
I mentioned it before, but the magazine Mythic Circle published one of my short stories in their Summer 2018 edition. The issue finally arrived in the mail, so I made a blog post about it and wrote a little bit on the thought process behind the story and what it took to get it published.
 
I mentioned it before, but the magazine Mythic Circle published one of my short stories in their Summer 2018 edition. The issue finally arrived in the mail, so I made a blog post about it and wrote a little bit on the thought process behind the story and what it took to get it published.
Oh snap congrats! Sucks there isn't an online version I can read but oh well. Always happy to see other short story writers success!

So I can drink in despair about it....
 
On the bright side, this probably means that you've improved.
Yes. On the downside, I'm worried that I'll repeat this ever few years. Get sick of sending shit to agents, look at old books to see if I can self publish, hate them, write new book instead.

I wrote this thing in 2013 and edited it in 2014, so I get that it's not as good as what I'm writing now. THe problem is I once thought it was good--like, really good.

I imagine my second book is ass too. I wrote that in I think 2014 or 2015.
 
I keep having the opposite problem, and thinking that maybe my writing is getting worse with time. My older writing is a lot more flowery, uses more complex language and generally reads more literary. My current style is a lot more lean, and moves fast, more of an emphasis on dialog and character than lyrical description. I'm not sure if losing the slower-paced, flowery, poetic language is actually an improvement. though it does make more room for explosions and running gun battles.
 
Would anyone be willing to give some of my novel a quick glance? I've been working on it for almost two years now, on and off. It needs work, still (there are inconsistencies with minor details like location names and eye colors and the like) but I think getting some friendly feedback/critique would really help. I need motivation, too.

It's LONG. I don't have the wordcount on me, but it's a doozy. I could just send a few chapters, which might be preferable.

It's a sci-fi/fantasy fusion where people live in a world where ghosts linger after they die, and the spirit and the afterlife are scientifically proven to exist. People from a society like ours crash land on this planet, but it turns out they're not the best people, and start using the natives like lab rats to try to attain eternal life. The whole thing is fueled by synthwave music, and is meant to have an old school 80's sci-fi sheen to it, haha. A sheen put over typical fantasy... yeah, I know it's weird.

If you're interested, hit me up.
 
So if anyone wants to track their progress for the month with others https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet...7MN6BfjyAw4ouC02ClpRI8GyY/edit#gid=2139313274
Though I'm not bothering to officially do a contest this month since it's the month before Nano and I figure most people will be planning for that, and in general interest has died :P


I was wondering how everyone did september.
I personally made my goal (barely, but the barely was mostly on purpose as I decided to say screw it after I made my goal, did a little clean up, and wrote just enough to keep my goal lol)
It was a decent month for me which saw me finish book 6 and start on book 7. I was tempted to go back and start reworking book 1 some, but since I had been planning parts of book 7 for like 9 months in detail, and other parts of it are like 12 years in the making I wanted to at least do the first third of book 7 before going back to book 1. Where I will likely do most of the rest of book 7 during nano after I plan it out. (I have a lot of details in earlier books I need to find for the story as it's a big wrap up to some character details/arcs)

On the flip side I have also done something likely worth mentioning. With the completion of reaching my goal in September I have written an average of 1k words per day on average in a given month for a year straight (and if I moved august 31st's words to sept 1st when I likely actually wrote them it would be 13 months straight but still)

I had a long string of days in general where I wrote at least 1k words a day, but it was starting to get to me not having any days off, so in general I try to make sure I average at least 7k words in any given week, if I get to that amount I can take a day off, but the main thing is to get at least 1k words on average in a given month.

I'm sure my writing isn't great, but I don't think it's horrible either. And in the last year I've made some improvements that I wanted, though I have many more I need to do.

I do need to start editing book 1 soon, partially to fix things, but partially because the next things I want to work on would likely be practiced in editing instead of on the fly writing, which I can later apply to my on the fly writing.

The main thing I want to work on right now is my descriptions. I don't want them to drawn out or flowery, but I really need to have characters have more then just body reactions. Have them mess with the environment more, especially since I could expand details about the environment that way without specifically breaking down a paragraph of details about a given area. I'm finding in general I prefer when details are spread out across a couple paragraphs instead of just blurted out in one, so I'm trying to find a next blend of setting the basis of a scene and slowly building upon it as a scene plays out.

I also need to find time to at least skim my second nano project from last year and start to plot out the next part. I remember partially where it was supposed to go, but like an idiot I didn't actually write out the details in my head lol.

I remember it was supposed to be a 3 season story, and I remember the plots for the first two seasons, but I'm blanking on the third one lol. given my project last nano was just the first half of the first season it's not a huge deal right now, but still lol.

anyways I hope others had a good September. Despite what I have done, I still feel like a huge slacker who wastes way to much time not doing anything. The best part on top of this... I have 6 complete (early draft) books, 25k words in a 7th book, nearly 700k words of continuous story... I've been working on my story 30-60 hours a week for like a year now (seriously in general for like 3 years, and overall for 14 years)... and I still don't think I would be willing to call myself a writer lol.
 
For a number of personal reasons I won't go into here, September has been a pretty poor month for me in terms of actual writing. I've scraped together a few thousand words on a couple of projects and finished a verse of a poem, but nothing more substantial than that.

I've had slightly better luck on the promotion front, though - I've finally managed to get a handful of reviews for my most recent book (trying dozens of promotions and bloggers in the process), and I'm starting going to open mic events again to do poetry readings.
 
I've had slightly better luck on the promotion front, though - I've finally managed to get a handful of reviews for my most recent book (trying dozens of promotions and bloggers in the process), and I'm starting going to open mic events again to do poetry readings.
That's at least something. Likely more than a lot of people who pass through here will do.
 
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