#1
How many people on here write novels or just creative writing in general? Any published authors? Any tips for someone planning on writing a novel?
#2
Outlines. Notes on specific events/people/stuff. Lots of brainstorming and putting ideas down on paper before you begin writing. Organization is very, very important for writing anything substantial.
#3
Quote by gsd65
Outlines. Notes on specific events/people/stuff. Lots of brainstorming and putting ideas down on paper before you begin writing. Organization is very, very important for writing anything substantial.



Have you done much creative writing before? I have an idea for a relatively short book but not a real story just bits here and there. I thought I would make it up as I go along.
#4
Quote by gsd65
Outlines. Notes on specific events/people/stuff. Lots of brainstorming and putting ideas down on paper before you begin writing. Organization is very, very important for writing anything substantial.


agreed, i usually try to build up a picture of locations and main characters first. build up the world around your story first. it helps keep the story consistent and within a context.
#5
also, might be worthwhile trying your hand at short stories first. they give invaluable experience
#6
Quote by Gordriani
also, might be worthwhile trying your hand at short stories first. they give invaluable experience



As in 100 page short or 20-30 pages?
#7
I've been trying to get a story out of my head for a while, I think the best tip, which has already been said, is to brainstorm and plan. Outline everything, all the way to the end. Think everything out thoroughly, or you'll end up with a bunch of ugly loose ends.
#8
Quote by jaybsp
Have you done much creative writing before? I have an idea for a relatively short book but not a real story just bits here and there. I thought I would make it up as I go along.


Yes, I've done creative writing. I'm in the process of writing a novel, but it isn't a serious endeavor yet, as I'm still in grad school. Like I said, organization is key. If you write as you go, you risk it being sloppy/jumbled. For mine, I have every chapter outlined, extensive notes, drawings of how I think everything should look, etc. Complex sentence structure and detail are key as well. Paint a picture for the reader, metaphorically speaking.

EDIT: It's like a good song. Everything is right, concise, definite beginning, middle, endpoints, critical moments, etc. Every part has to fit together just right.
Last edited by gsd65 at Apr 14, 2011,
#9
Check out the writer's thread, there are a few people in there in the process of writing things, and you'll get plenty of tips there too.
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#10
Quote by jaybsp
As in 100 page short or 20-30 pages?


well, let the story dictate the length. don't aim for a specific target of words or pages. don't just waffle on to fill the page. i've read plenty of very good short stories that are quite short, if a story is worth telling it doesn't matter how long it is. regardless of length though, short stories will give you a solid understanding of story crafting.
#11
Quote by jaybsp
As in 100 page short or 20-30 pages?


Or like 3-4 pages. Start with that and see if you can add something together coherently.

I just write as I go along. Mostly poems and shorter novels.

Generally, as is stated below. Your own style of writing is what matters, I write as I go along, it works for me although I haven't really done anything substantial. But I've quite fond of a few of my novels.

Others do something completetly different. But to say that everyone must follow specific guidelines etc is just idiocy on a stick.
sometimes I see us in a cymbal splash or in the sound of a car crash
Last edited by JohnnyGenzale at Apr 14, 2011,
#12
Quote by gsd65
Outlines. Notes on specific events/people/stuff. Lots of brainstorming and putting ideas down on paper before you begin writing. Organization is very, very important for writing anything substantial.


This is a misconception. It's easier for me to just write it out then fix any mistakes. I mean everyone has their own writing process, so my suggestion is to find your own style. Hell, I've heard Vonnegut writes it one page at a time and scraps each page until its completely perfect. Stephen King writes similarly to me, he hates pre-writing, both are very succesful authors, so just do it your own way.
Due what you want as long as you vote Due!
#13
Quote by jaybsp
Have you done much creative writing before? I have an idea for a relatively short book but not a real story just bits here and there. I thought I would make it up as I go along.



That's fine for very short and simplistic stories. With a A-B plot, and no side trails that you want to follow. The trouble there lies, that half way through you might come across a new idea and branch of to explore it a bit, then branch off again and again and again...and before you know it you have 100 pages of unstructured ramblings that are so far from what you started with, you can't really finish it.

I wrote so many like that, but I kept them all...and they're good to work from. But it's a fairly long winded, effort filled and unprofessional way of going about it.
What everyone else said, plan plan plan and plan. Rough outlines, storyboards, draw little sketches to help your imagination. I can get so many ideas for adventure stories just by looking at old maps.
#14
I have one. Outlines, outlines, outlines. Seriously, outlines.
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#15
Quote by tayroar
This is a misconception. It's easier for me to just write it out then fix any mistakes. I mean everyone has their own writing process, so my suggestion is to find your own style. Hell, I've heard Vonnegut writes it one page at a time and scraps each page until its completely perfect. Stephen King writes similarly to me, he hates pre-writing, both are very succesful authors, so just do it your own way.


You're absolutely right. Every style is different. I state what works for me :p I'm somewhat of a perfectionist so that's why I do it the way I do.
#16
Quote by gsd65
You're absolutely right. Every style is different. I state what works for me :p I'm somewhat of a perfectionist so that's why I do it the way I do.


Yeah, using outlines and heavy prewriting is popular with many, I just find that I can't, I've tried so many times to sit down and write an outline, and I can't it ruins the fun of writing for me. Now what I don't do in prewriting I make up with post-writing. I'll write two or three drafts after the first one getting everything just right.
Due what you want as long as you vote Due!
#17
Basic outlines at least are important in my opinion, but whether you want to meticulously create the characters and universe before actually writing anything properly is up to you. Some people find it easier, but it doesn't work for others. I know that Asimov said he couldn't create a strict universe then write a good story that sticks to it. He also said that on the other hand, Robert Heinlein used to probably spend longer carefully creating the universe his novel would be set in than he would spend writing the novel itself. So it's up to you. I'm not a very good writer myself, so you can probably disregard my advice, but you won't write anything good until you've worked at it quite a bit. You'll find what suits you soon enough.