#1
I've been getting into my poetry quite a bit, and I wanted to start writing prose again. After some inspiration, I now want to dive into the deep end and try writing a novella (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novella).

Just wondering if anyone has ever given this a shot, and if anyone has, or just written rather long short stories, what tips I could have to send me on the way.

Open discussion thread too

EDIT: I'm looking around 15,000 to 20,000 words.
#2
I'm planning to in the summer actually. I'm not sure if this is the wrong forum... probably not.

Good luck, share yours with me if you do
#3
I intended to but I never really got around to it. I think you should just go for it. The only tip I can think of: No matter how good your vocabulary is, don't be afraid to use a thesaurus, because it will remind you of a better way to say something. Anyway, good luck.
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#4
The best advice I have is to plan rigorously; character maps listing character traits, time lines and plot lines, themes and how you will implement them etc. etc. You really do have to go overboard on the planning. Oh, and be prepared to rewrite each chapter about 10 times before you're happy with it.
#5
I would suggest that you know more about the characters than you include in the novella and know what is going to happen before you start writing. I am planning on writing one but i never seem to have the time to do so.
#6
Quote by National_Anthem
The best advice I have is to plan rigorously; character maps listing character traits, time lines and plot lines, themes and how you will implement them etc. etc. You really do have to go overboard on the planning. Oh, and be prepared to rewrite each chapter about 10 times before you're happy with it.

I'm planning to not even start writing if there's a chance I'll need to improvise, thanks anyway
#7
Quote by Craigo
I'm planning to not even start writing if there's a chance I'll need to improvise

What does that mean?
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#9
The longest thing I have written was 247 000 words. I havent approached a publisher but if I do I know I need to work on it, its only the third draft, and what with uni, I dont exactly have time. I wish I could write but Ive lost the sparkle.

Ive written two other short-ish stories around 150 000 words though. They both need a hell of a lot of work doing with them.
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#10
I got a title, theme, some character ideas (gonna draw some maps) and some very loose plot ideas. I really want to make this as solid as possible. Gonna be hard, but it's going to be so enjoyable.
#11
I've been meaning to do for a while but I haven't written anything original since my A2 English coursework a couple of months ago. I'm definitely going to give it a shot soon.
#12
What I do is start with my characters; Do the main one last, and write out every conceivable trait and quirk. Don't jump right in and try to start writing the story (unless you've got the ideas churning around almost wanting to come out), I like to make up a synopsis first. Do a basic outline of the whole story, then read and write over it again. And again. And again. And again, et cetera.

Embellish a little bit here and there, read over it, making sure there are no loopholes in the story, and rearrange the order if it doesn't flow right.

Next comes breaking it into chapters. I like to put every paragraph of my synopsis into its own little chapter column. After you have broken it down, instead of trying to write, instead write in a sub outline of what you want to happen in the chapter.

Do this for each line, combining and rearranging as more ideas emerge.
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#13
One piece of advice - if you are writing a story with any amount of fact in it - RESEARCH is the key.

Tom Clancey books are so awesome because of the level of detail in them, and I dare say he has never built a nuke that blew up half of Denver... Yet everything he writes is so believable, you'd think he had built a nuke in his back yard for "teh lulz".
#14
Well, I've written a novella before, but afterwards, I discovered that the plot was cliche and bland. Learn from my mistakes.

Above all, surprise yourself, and make sure you're having fun writing it the whole time.

I also think it would help if you were to treat each chapter as a mini story. That will make it better for you and the reader.
#16
I started to write a book once. It was gonna be about a guy with schizophrenia who kills people, similar to the story of Mr. Brooks. I got through one chapter and lost focus. I would work on it some more but it's been deleted from my computer since then =(
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#17
I started 2 books in high school. Try to improvise the plot so they never got more than 100 pages.

I'm the type of person that likes to imagine scenarios or scenes in my head and go from there. I have zero work ethic so it hurts my writing quite a bit.
Hi, I'm Peter
#18
I write poems, prose, short stories, screenplays and have attempted a novella.

But mostly for my own amusement.
Breaking into writing is a rough ticket.

I don't really have any suggestions.
Poor advice.
#19
Quote by Dirk Gently
I started 2 books in high school. Try to improvise the plot so they never got more than 100 pages.

I'm the type of person that likes to imagine scenarios or scenes in my head and go from there. I have zero work ethic so it hurts my writing quite a bit.
Same.

I need to start writing again.
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#20
I actually am starting to write one just now. I just started last night. It's about...I dunno really. Just some sort of story about these two scientists who discovered something so disastrous it shook the foundation of our actual being. Something to do with FOUR new chromosomes. Not really original, but it's my first one.


...I really have no suggestions either. I used to write "poetry", but then I started writing these things...They're not short stories OR poems, just kind of in between. It's poetic in nature, but is more structured around a short story. It's weird. I can't really give a suggestion, cause like stellar legs said, it's tough to get into it. You just have to stream of conscious write for a while, get your creativity going, then just go from there. Hard to explain.

..../walloftext
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#21
I had to begin a novella for school last year,, and it was a rather difficult task, but I enjoyed it very much. I continued my novella after the course was over but I never got around to finishing it.

As for suggestions, all I can say has been said already - plan.

Personally though, I wouldn't go overboard with the planning, because writing is a creative thing and you want to be able to be a little spontaneous. What I mean is, you can set out chapter outlines as detailed as you want, but don't be afraid to drift from those ideas once you get started.

good luck.

Oh, and try to write at least one page a day. It's a difficult task but you'll need to get yourself in the habit.
#23
Quote by saphrax
One piece of advice - if you are writing a story with any amount of fact in it - RESEARCH is the key.

Tom Clancey books are so awesome because of the level of detail in them, and I dare say he has never built a nuke that blew up half of Denver... Yet everything he writes is so believable, you'd think he had built a nuke in his back yard for "teh lulz".

You know where the door is.
#24
Cool. Just dive in is my advice. Writing is a skill aquired through much practice, like guitar. Fun and frustrating.

Every November, there is this thing called NaNoWriMo where thousands of people from all over write tapped novellas (50, 000 words) in 30 days. Check that out when it rolls around, too. A lot of fun.
#25
Quote by Straplocks
Cool. Just dive in is my advice. Writing is a skill aquired through much practice, like guitar. Fun and frustrating.

Every November, there is this thing called NaNoWriMo where thousands of people from all over write tapped novellas (50, 000 words) in 30 days. Check that out when it rolls around, too. A lot of fun.

Links?
#28
I've been writing stories for nine years, and I've learned a couple of things, here is one of them. Don't stop to edit, just keep on writing. You stop and start screwing around with what you have already written, and it's harder to go on with the story.

Good luck
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#29
Quote by faustin_black
I've been writing stories for nine years, and I've learned a couple of things, here is one of them. Don't stop to edit, just keep on writing. You stop and start screwing around with what you have already written, and it's harder to go on with the story.

Good luck

With all due respect, the majority of writers will disagree.
#30
TS: I've done quite a bit of writing - including finishing one novel (currently in print) and have two others in the pipe. Feel free to pm me if you would like to discuss writing\want advice.
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#31
I'm writing a story/book/novel/thing at the moment actually. Its my first attempt, and I've only got 4 pages of story.
#32
Quote by Craigo
With all due respect, the majority of writers will disagree.

No, I think he's got a point. For example, Paul Simon says that great songs aren't written, they're re-written. I think the whole idea of "drafts" is important. Get the skeleton with some ligaments and muscles on it, then work on the shape of the ears and the angle of the elbows.
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#33
Quote by heaven's gate
I'm writing a story/book/novel/thing at the moment actually. Its my first attempt, and I've only got 4 pages of story.


Good for you! Keep up the good work. Don't worry so much about page count as you do the story itself. After all, people read because the story is good, not because the book is thick.
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Last edited by sthall at Apr 8, 2008,
#34
Quote by Dirk Gently
No, I think he's got a point. For example, Paul Simon says that great songs aren't written, they're re-written. I think the whole idea of "drafts" is important. Get the skeleton with some ligaments and muscles on it, then work on the shape of the ears and the angle of the elbows.

I can easily mold out a story, then remold it until I'm happy; I can get around rewriting it completely (although sometimes it's a great idea).
#35
Quote by Craigo
With all due respect, the majority of writers will disagree.


I think it depends on the writer. Personally, I never write more than a chapter or two without going back, editing and rewriting. If I haven't picked up a story in a while I'll read it from scratch and edit\rewrite as I familiarize myself with the characters again, regardless of whether or not I know I've already done it. Most of my stories go through five or more edits\rewrites before they are "finished".
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#36
Quote by sthall
I think it depends on the writer. Personally, I never write more than a chapter or two without going back, editing and rewriting. If I haven't picked up a story in a while I'll read it from scratch and edit\rewrite as I familiarize myself with the characters again, regardless of whether or not I know I've already done it. Most of my stories go through five or more edits\rewrites before they are "finished".

I normally go through plenty of drafts and edits, but I never write, then rewrite or not even rewrite. I'm sure most writers of today follow that, but it's up to them how they write. The final product should be judged, not the process.