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Writing a novel - edtf - 07-24-2014 08:12 PM

In the past week, I suddenly had a great idea for a novel. I want to take on writing as a hobby, and publish this when I finish writing. I know its a time-consuming process, but if anyone can share their experience or process of getting organized, I would appreciate it.


RE: Writing a novel - Beyond Borders - 07-25-2014 12:27 AM

Read "million dollar outlines."


RE: Writing a novel - weambulance - 07-25-2014 01:10 AM

Larry Correia's "Ask Correia" blog post series has a lot of good advice for aspiring novelists. Search in google for "monster hunter nation ask correia", there are like 16-17 long articles in the series last I checked. You might not be interested in all of them, but Larry really is an excellent storyteller so check it out.


RE: Writing a novel - puckerman - 07-25-2014 03:02 AM

I already have a novel out there. I didn't do any outlines. I just started writing and did it. The work only begins once you finish the novel.


RE: Writing a novel - edtf - 07-25-2014 03:25 AM

thanks guys, i'll check it out


RE: Writing a novel - thirty-six - 07-26-2014 10:57 AM

(07-25-2014 03:02 AM)puckerman Wrote:  I just started writing and did it. The work only begins once you finish the novel.

I agree. I finished one, too, but have no idea how to get it out there. The next thread needs to be "How to market" that novel that you wrote. But as far as organization goes, my advice would be to strike while the iron is hot. Put pen to paper. Don't overthink it.


RE: Writing a novel - Cr33pin - 07-26-2014 12:29 PM






RE: Writing a novel - CactusCat589 - 07-27-2014 07:30 PM

Brandon Sanderson has all of his recorded lectures given at BYU up on this channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbL-84SkT4Q. Pretty insightful and highly recommended. He has quality guest lecturers who go into details regarding finding an editor, agent, the publishing process.


RE: Writing a novel - PapayaTapper - 07-27-2014 07:49 PM

(07-26-2014 12:29 PM)Cr33pin Wrote:  


Giggity


RE: Writing a novel - puckerman - 07-28-2014 01:33 AM

(07-26-2014 10:57 AM)thirty-six Wrote:  I agree. I finished one, too, but have no idea how to get it out there. The next thread needs to be "How to market" that novel that you wrote. But as far as organization goes, my advice would be to strike while the iron is hot. Put pen to paper. Don't overthink it.

Figure out who wants to read it, and go after them.


RE: Writing a novel - thirty-six - 07-28-2014 07:09 PM

(07-28-2014 01:33 AM)puckerman Wrote:  
(07-26-2014 10:57 AM)thirty-six Wrote:  I agree. I finished one, too, but have no idea how to get it out there. The next thread needs to be "How to market" that novel that you wrote. But as far as organization goes, my advice would be to strike while the iron is hot. Put pen to paper. Don't overthink it.

Figure out who wants to read it, and go after them.

Exactly. How do you go after them?

I know who I want to read it, but getting it to them is not that easy.

I thought FB ads were going to be a good start, but even those are not targeted enough. They have mountains of data on everyone, yet I have to click through broad pre-approved categories, and can't do things like 'Interest A' AND 'Interest B' to get ads in front of who I want.

Agents; decision makers; critics? That's tough, especially if you haven't published before.

I'd be interested to hear what strategies you've used to try to reach your audience.

Cheers


RE: Writing a novel - Libertas - 07-28-2014 07:33 PM

(07-24-2014 08:12 PM)edtf Wrote:  In the past week, I suddenly had a great idea for a novel. I want to take on writing as a hobby, and publish this when I finish writing. I know its a time-consuming process, but if anyone can share their experience or process of getting organized, I would appreciate it.

When you have some free time, make sure that you write a page per hour.

Anything less than 1,000 words a day is unacceptable unless there were some meaningful mitigating circumstances.

(07-25-2014 03:02 AM)puckerman Wrote:  The work only begins once you finish the novel.

Yeah. I'm very close to finishing mine, but the pruning and editing to make sure it all fits nicely is going to be the real work, especially since this thing is really long.


RE: Writing a novel - edtf - 07-30-2014 02:57 PM

(07-28-2014 07:33 PM)Libertas Wrote:  
(07-24-2014 08:12 PM)edtf Wrote:  In the past week, I suddenly had a great idea for a novel. I want to take on writing as a hobby, and publish this when I finish writing. I know its a time-consuming process, but if anyone can share their experience or process of getting organized, I would appreciate it.

When you have some free time, make sure that you write a page per hour.

Anything less than 1,000 words a day is unacceptable unless there were some meaningful mitigating circumstances.

(07-25-2014 03:02 AM)puckerman Wrote:  The work only begins once you finish the novel.

Yeah. I'm very close to finishing mine, but the pruning and editing to make sure it all fits nicely is going to be the real work, especially since this thing is really long.

I am not a the stage where I am writing yet. Right now its a lot of brainstorming and drawing diagrams and stuff, because I'm writing science fiction and I want to make the technology coherent and somewhat believable.

Have you heard of the Snowflake Method for organization?


RE: Writing a novel - JKontherun - 08-17-2014 09:12 AM

(07-24-2014 08:12 PM)edtf Wrote:  In the past week, I suddenly had a great idea for a novel. I want to take on writing as a hobby, and publish this when I finish writing. I know its a time-consuming process, but if anyone can share their experience or process of getting organized, I would appreciate it.

Hello

I'm a newbie to the forum, so please be kind.

I recently quit my corporate career to go full-time into writing for a living. It is not easy, but it is the most fun that I have had in a long, long time.

I have a couple of tips/ideas/suggestions that I hope others can benefit from:

1) Read a lot
Something that I always say to others is that to be a good writer, you need to be a good reader. In other words, you need to need voraciously and on a variety of topics. That means reading novels, self-help books, autobiographies, long articles and the like. This tends to keep the brain active and gets you in the mood for writing. In some ways, it is like doing a lot of training at the gym so that you can be a better athlete on the track/field. Reading exercises the mind and gets you ready for writing.

Plus, this has the added benefit of exposing you to a variety of sources of information that you can weave into your story/article.

2) Have a dedicated work area and tools
I've found that when I have a dedicated area of my house to write in (in this case, it is my study table), I write a lot there. But when I move to the kitchen table or coffee shop, I tend to get distracted and lose focus. You may need a while to find the area that works best for you, but once you do, guard that please zealously and try not to do other things there. As an example, I try not to read books or long articles at my study desk. This tricks the brain into thinking that I'm in 'work' mode at the desk and therefore focus more easily. Also, try killing the internet connection when writing as it is a huge time sink. Admittedly, I struggle with this myself…Undecided

In terms of writing software, I absolutely swear by Scrivener from Literature and Latte (http://www.literatureandlatte.com/index.php). The best thing about this app is that it lets you write in bits and pieces without worrying about the overall flow/bigger picture. It also let's you insert web articles and documents for easy reference. Trying to type out your magnum opus on Word or Pages is not something that I'd recommend.

They also produce another app called Scapple. This software acts as a sort of mind map where you can jot thoughts down and link different areas together.

The good thing about both these apps is that they have trial versions, so you can try before you buy. They have both PC and Mac versions. There is another app called Ulysses that is a variant of Scrivener. It has good reviews but I haven't tried it myself.

3) Maintain a good writing/life balance
As fun as writing is, it is extremely exhausting and you can feel mentally drained at the end of a day. It is best to stick to a target (I have a daily target of 3000 words) but do not exceed it. You may think that you're being more productive by writing more, but you will just burn out faster and you'll feel frustrated sooner and hit a brick wall. Slow and steady wins the race. (The occasional 5000-word session does come up, but I try not to do it every other day.)

Writing is also a very solitary experience and, after an extended period of time being away from other human beings, it can feel like you're going mad. It's important to keep an active social life going by picking up hobbies such as learning languages, playing sports, exercising, etc. It's particularly important to keep meeting new people, not just to prevent you from going insane, but also to get personalities and anecdotes for your story's plot.


Once you finish your novel, you'll find that there are more mountains to climb, the chief among them being finding a publisher and marketing your book. That's another topic for another day/post, I guess, but I'm happy to share my experiences in those areas too if anyone is interested.

On a more selfish note, the book that I published earlier this year is available on Amazon's website. If you're interested, please take a look (I have published both Kindle and printed versions):
US: http://amzn.to/1jTmO11
UK: http://amzn.to/1iV8Msh

And if you enjoyed the book, please help with a book review. Thanks!

If there is anything else you'd like to know, just reply below and I'll try to respond whenever I can.

All the best with your writing career!

Regards
John


RE: Writing a novel - Pride male - 06-29-2016 10:50 AM

I finished my manuscript and sent it out. Rejections are inevitable. Has anyone submitted work and never got to the promised land of publishing? And is anyone willing to read a chapter or two and give me some feedback?


RE: Writing a novel - 911 - 07-02-2016 11:47 PM

The key to writing a good novel is to start it in the evening, during a storm.


RE: Writing a novel - Leonard D Neubache - 07-03-2016 12:40 AM

(07-02-2016 11:47 PM)911 Wrote:  The key to writing a good novel is to start it in the evening, during a storm.

I recently had a power outage that lasted for 36 hours, and we don't get a lot of daylight here at this time of year.

I collated more notes for a project under candlelight in that brief time than I did in the previous month.


RE: Writing a novel - EDantes - 07-03-2016 12:51 AM

(07-24-2014 08:12 PM)edtf Wrote:  In the past week, I suddenly had a great idea for a novel. I want to take on writing as a hobby, and publish this when I finish writing. I know its a time-consuming process, but if anyone can share their experience or process of getting organized, I would appreciate it.
I've thought about doing that myself (and publishing it on Amazon).

My plan is to read a successful novel and just get a general idea for the formula used; might want to check out the "John Milton" novels; they were self-published by a dad of 2 on Amazon and are now earning him 6 figures a year. He also offers a few of them available for free download.

(Or just find an example of a successful novel in whatever your genre is; the Milton novels are like a Bourne/Bond type of franchise).


RE: Writing a novel - Windom Earle - 07-03-2016 12:54 AM






RE: Writing a novel - weambulance - 08-22-2016 11:30 PM

(06-29-2016 10:50 AM)Pride male Wrote:  I finished my manuscript and sent it out. Rejections are inevitable. Has anyone submitted work and never got to the promised land of publishing? And is anyone willing to read a chapter or two and give me some feedback?

Any updates?

In my opinion the much better option is to simply self publish these days, at least in the US. There's little benefit to publishing through a traditional press other than being able to brag that some publisher liked your book enough to buy it, and there are loads of downsides that can end up costing you a lot of money.


RE: Writing a novel - Pride male - 08-23-2016 01:33 PM

^Gettinga boatload of rejections.


RE: Writing a novel - Perfectionist - 08-23-2016 02:57 PM

(08-17-2014 09:12 AM)JKontherun Wrote:  
(07-24-2014 08:12 PM)edtf Wrote:  In the past week, I suddenly had a great idea for a novel. I want to take on writing as a hobby, and publish this when I finish writing. I know its a time-consuming process, but if anyone can share their experience or process of getting organized, I would appreciate it.

Hello

I'm a newbie to the forum, so please be kind.

I recently quit my corporate career to go full-time into writing for a living. It is not easy, but it is the most fun that I have had in a long, long time.

I have a couple of tips/ideas/suggestions that I hope others can benefit from:

1) Read a lot
Something that I always say to others is that to be a good writer, you need to be a good reader. In other words, you need to need voraciously and on a variety of topics. That means reading novels, self-help books, autobiographies, long articles and the like. This tends to keep the brain active and gets you in the mood for writing. In some ways, it is like doing a lot of training at the gym so that you can be a better athlete on the track/field. Reading exercises the mind and gets you ready for writing.

Plus, this has the added benefit of exposing you to a variety of sources of information that you can weave into your story/article.

2) Have a dedicated work area and tools
I've found that when I have a dedicated area of my house to write in (in this case, it is my study table), I write a lot there. But when I move to the kitchen table or coffee shop, I tend to get distracted and lose focus. You may need a while to find the area that works best for you, but once you do, guard that please zealously and try not to do other things there. As an example, I try not to read books or long articles at my study desk. This tricks the brain into thinking that I'm in 'work' mode at the desk and therefore focus more easily. Also, try killing the internet connection when writing as it is a huge time sink. Admittedly, I struggle with this myself…Undecided

In terms of writing software, I absolutely swear by Scrivener from Literature and Latte (http://www.literatureandlatte.com/index.php). The best thing about this app is that it lets you write in bits and pieces without worrying about the overall flow/bigger picture. It also let's you insert web articles and documents for easy reference. Trying to type out your magnum opus on Word or Pages is not something that I'd recommend.

They also produce another app called Scapple. This software acts as a sort of mind map where you can jot thoughts down and link different areas together.

The good thing about both these apps is that they have trial versions, so you can try before you buy. They have both PC and Mac versions. There is another app called Ulysses that is a variant of Scrivener. It has good reviews but I haven't tried it myself.

3) Maintain a good writing/life balance
As fun as writing is, it is extremely exhausting and you can feel mentally drained at the end of a day. It is best to stick to a target (I have a daily target of 3000 words) but do not exceed it. You may think that you're being more productive by writing more, but you will just burn out faster and you'll feel frustrated sooner and hit a brick wall. Slow and steady wins the race. (The occasional 5000-word session does come up, but I try not to do it every other day.)

Writing is also a very solitary experience and, after an extended period of time being away from other human beings, it can feel like you're going mad. It's important to keep an active social life going by picking up hobbies such as learning languages, playing sports, exercising, etc. It's particularly important to keep meeting new people, not just to prevent you from going insane, but also to get personalities and anecdotes for your story's plot.


Once you finish your novel, you'll find that there are more mountains to climb, the chief among them being finding a publisher and marketing your book. That's another topic for another day/post, I guess, but I'm happy to share my experiences in those areas too if anyone is interested.

On a more selfish note, the book that I published earlier this year is available on Amazon's website. If you're interested, please take a look (I have published both Kindle and printed versions):
US: http://amzn.to/1jTmO11
UK: http://amzn.to/1iV8Msh

And if you enjoyed the book, please help with a book review. Thanks!

If there is anything else you'd like to know, just reply below and I'll try to respond whenever I can.

All the best with your writing career!

Regards
John
Great post brother.
Do you have an agent and publisher, or do you self-publish?
What level of income have you attained so far?


RE: Writing a novel - Max Henrich - 08-23-2016 05:02 PM

(07-28-2014 07:33 PM)Libertas Wrote:  Anything less than 1,000 words a day is unacceptable unless there were some meaningful mitigating circumstances.

Hemingway wrote about 400 words per day, but then, he was Hemingway, and his terse prose is worth more.


RE: Writing a novel - dispenser - 08-24-2016 07:22 AM

Cafes.
1. You have to politely ignore the people around you, so there's no escaping the keyboard in front of you. Filtering out noises and movement enhances concentration.
2. You will begin to feel embarrassed about not having typed a word for the last ten minutes. Bullshitting will then occur, which is enough to get the ball rolling.


RE: Writing a novel - JKontherun - 08-24-2016 08:24 AM

Alas, making money from writing has proven to be tougher than expected. So, I'm doing other stuff to pay the bills in the meantime. I've published four books in about 18 months' time, so I'd count that as one of my life's ambitions achieved! Now, I need to decide if I want to continue or try my hand at something else.

Self-publishing is the way to go, especially if you write red-pill oriented stuff. I tried with my second book, The Right Trajectory (which has red-pill undertones), and I got no replies from publishers barring one ?. However, publishers generally don't reply unless they want to read your work, so that's par for the course.

I can't do coffee shops as they don't work for me. I love people watching and such places with heavy footfall are terrible for my concentration. Still, each to his own.