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Mr.BS

The Writers Block

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Please, too corny for here? This is where ze wimmin folk take it upon themselves to imagine story lines for the muse lads circa 17something or nother...

Don't flay me girls, is being facetious :eek:

 

:pope:

 

BANNED!!!

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Guest Tania

I've never put any of my bits and pieces up on the board but there's a link to my writing blog in my signature :)

 

It's only a few bits at the moment but I hope to put up some more stuff soon, it's just where I put my scraps and excercises really. I've written 2 novels (unpublished, boo) and had a couple of short stories punlished in national magazines but not for a while. Mostly to me now writing is fun, I have no ambition for it any more :LOL:

 

While I respect those of you who write fanfic it's never been my cup of tea, my stuff is just general fiction mainly although I do some prose pieces also. There is some of my writing too on my Deviant Art page but it's mostly the same as what's in the blogspot, it all crosses over - Blogspot for wrtiting, Flickr for photos and Deviant Art for the best bits of both :LOL:

 

EDIT ooh I see you have a non fanfic section at the Artist's Muse, might consider it then :)

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Ha yeah. I try to stay away from the slash/fan fic side of the site myself. The dumping grounds is where I reside; and that's saying something for you to have two books written if not published. What were they bout if you don't mind me asking?

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Guest Tania
Ha yeah. I try to stay away from the slash/fan fic side of the site myself. The dumping grounds is where I reside; and that's saying something for you to have two books written if not published. What were they bout if you don't mind me asking?

No, I don't mind at all :)

 

I spent some time in my late teens and early twenties (beginning of the nineties) as an anti road protester here in the UK, living at camps trying to stop them building unneeded bypasses and stuff. The first book was loosely based on that experience, it was basically a bit of a redemption story about a corporate lawyer who loses everything and finds redemption giving his legal advice free for anti-road protesters, but later he goes and becomes involved in a camp himself so it's all mud and bulldozers :LOL:

 

The second was set in the same town ten years later, you can read the opening in my blog it's called The Beachcomber. Although the two main characters in that story are new characters, the side characters and incidental people are the main characters in the first book - does that make sense? :unsure: So it's kind of a sequel but not really.....

 

I have heaps of ideas for new novels, I have the skeleton plot and character studies for a trilogy written down and I work on the first book from time to time (I'm up to about chapter ten) but I have young kids and lack discipline :LOL:

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No, I don't mind at all :)

 

I spent some time in my late teens and early twenties (beginning of the nineties) as an anti road protester here in the UK, living at camps trying to stop them building unneeded bypasses and stuff. The first book was loosely based on that experience, it was basically a bit of a redemption story about a corporate lawyer who loses everything and finds redemption giving his legal advice free for anti-road protesters, but later he goes and becomes involved in a camp himself so it's all mud and bulldozers :LOL:

 

The second was set in the same town ten years later, you can read the opening in my blog it's called The Beachcomber. Although the two main characters in that story are new characters, the side characters and incidental people are the main characters in the first book - does that make sense? :unsure: So it's kind of a sequel but not really.....

 

I have heaps of ideas for new novels, I have the skeleton plot and character studies for a trilogy written down and I work on the first book from time to time (I'm up to about chapter ten) but I have young kids and lack discipline :LOL:

 

 

Hey it all sounds good! Hope you get to work on it as much as you can! :D

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I'm only writing fanfic at the moment to get me back into the swing of things in terms of writing. I have an idea for a novel I want to write but that uses up twice as much energy as a novel-length fanfic, so I need to be in the right frame of mind and think about exactly what I want to do. In my current fanfic I do know where things are going, but you have more grace to just go with it as it's not an original piece.

 

Amazingly, I just don't have enough time to write my own novel at the moment :(.

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Aye. There is so, so much planning that needs to go into a novel if it'll be any good. Certaintly is a brain drain just the creation of the plot and outlining it, much less filling it all in...

 

Any frequenters have any suggestions for plot organization/outlining or whatnot? I've already gotten my novel more or less plotted out, but this being the writers thread, a nice debate might be in order.

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Have you tried getting an agent first, then have them get a publisher? Tis just another angle, but apparently with the same success rate as getting a publisher.

 

And Zilcho, I was just referring to different ways different people organize their ideas, or how they come up with plots. Any particular organizational devices or techniques to share... that sort of thing.

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Guest Tania
Have you tried getting an agent first, then have them get a publisher? Tis just another angle, but apparently with the same success rate as getting a publisher.

 

Agreed, I've always tried for an agent first, I just went through the ones who seemed like it might be appropriate to contact in The Writers and Artist's Yearbook (or international equivalent), first two or three chapters plus a 5000 word synopsis. I was always pessimistic about it but I found myself quite pleasantly surprised, the responses I got for the most part were friendly and positive, and (more surprisingly) personal. But sadly, no agent as yet and as I say, I've more or less given up for now, or at least until my kids go to school....

 

I know it's hard but you really do have to disconnect yourself from your writing when you're sending it out there, it's a product you're marketing and nothing more. Try not to take it too personally. The way I look at it, they're not rejecting me, just a product I suggested to them.... if I were to suggest anything, I'd always remind people that the editing and rewriting is a process as important, if not more, then what you wrote in the first place. And ALWAYS research the publisher and find out what their house style is regarding italics, paragraph indents and stuff, if it's not in their house style they won't even look at it usually.

 

I don't mean to sound patronising (although I probably do :$) and all of this might well be stuff you already do anyway, Zilcho, but just a few observations from ten years of sending stuff out :LOL:

 

 

And Zilcho, I was just referring to different ways different people organize their ideas, or how they come up with plots. Any particular organizational devices or techniques to share... that sort of thing.

 

Well I can at least tell you where I get my plots from... The Rough Guide to Opera :LOL: They have very loose synopses of the plot and if one catches my eye I'll try to think how I can modernise and expand that plot line, for instance the piece I'm working on at the moment is very loosely based on Riggoletto, and the other books in the trilogy come from La Giaconda and Simon Boccaneggra. It's all set in a northern provincial English town rather than 19th century Italy, instead of court jesters it had comedians in working men's clubs and strippers, kings become businessmen and princes local MPs.... and so on.

 

My first book which I talked about here with the road protesters, the plot was very loosely based on one of the Welsh myths from The Mabinogion. In the original story Pwyll, a wealthy local dignitary, goes stag hunting with his hounds but finds the stag dead with someone else's hounds there first. He scares them off hoping to pretend his hounds killed it but is caught out, as the others belong to the King of the Underworld. The King sends Pwyll to the Underworld for a year as punishment.

 

So updated, Pwyll became a wealthy local lawyer in debt who tries to fake a car insurance scam. My king of the "underworld" who caught him out was a 6'6" Rastafarian social worker, and the "underworld" he is sent to for punishment is community service in a homeless shelter.. he finds redemption that way... blah blah :LOL:

 

Jeez this is a long post! :LOL:

 

For me when I'm expanding the idea, character comes before plot. Sometimes I'll have a plot device worked out but I find that the character just "doesn't want to go there", or the character leads me to something I wouldn't expect them to do. If you have really good, well thought out characters they take on a life of their own, they almost haunt you... and I find once I have the characters fully thought out filling in the plot becomes pretty easy :)

 

Personally I do a chapter plan, a list of the chapters and what scenes are going to be in them, if I have more than one main character I make sure their plots are spread evenly and that there's an even flow of action at this point, so a chapter plan might read

 

4 - convo between Johnny and Mary - Mary says no

in the woods, scene with scary ghost

Johnny goes to police but they don't believe him

Mary buys prom dress

 

(not that I would ever have those things happening, of course, or at least not in a single chapter :rolleyes: )

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Argh the agent stuff [if I'm serious about writing fiction] seems to be something I should leave until my degree madness has settled down. Then again, I might just decide that I definitely want the historian route so writing fiction will take a back seat.

 

My plots usually come from things I've experienced [only not about myself obviously], things people told me or sometimes...my dreams! Dreams are a good starting point when you're trying to write fantasy or something that involves mythical creatures. Oh, and I once tried to write a short story about a group of people who discovered a cave that lead to the Greek underworld, but I didn't know where it was going so abandoned it.

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Ok, according to this here writing magazine I've got, here are three websites to check out the credibility of various agents. I'm not sure if they're yank or limey, haven't gotten to the bit where I send my manuscript off yet, but here are some links: Preditors and Editors ; Writer beware ; Association of Author's Representatives .

 

Note, I have not checked all of these out myself, but the first one at least seem's fairly legit. All these links came from the Writer's Journal (March/April 2007).

 

And Zilcho, I agree with you personally. Most of the time when I write,I get some interesting idea... may be about a character flaw, or a scene description or a problem or whatnot. Almost all of my ideas have started out with that one 'catalyst' then a beginning and then an end. Et voila, I start writing.

 

Personally though, the one thing I've had the worst time with is it can be just too much damn freedom some time. As in I may narrow things down to about two good choice paths for the character/story to take, but choosing either of them can be damnably hard at times.

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Huh, one of the reasons I worry about my association with fanfic has reared its head again. I don't mind NORMAL fanfic, heck I'll even accept slash [and sometimes read it if it isn't too graphic] but there's some weird people out there...

 

LJ has been suspending people who write/draw situations that involve incest [such as Fred and George Weasley together] or sexual situations with a minor [e.g. 14 year old Harry and Prof Snape] and people are COMPLAINING?! Not complaining that the stuff was there in the first place, but complaining that people are having their freedom of expression taken away! But seriously, wtf? A heck of a lot of them seem to find those sorts of situations a turn on...I'm sorry, but if I had that sort of kink, I'd keep it quiet!

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Huh, one of the reasons I worry about my association with fanfic has reared its head again. I don't mind NORMAL fanfic, heck I'll even accept slash [and sometimes read it if it isn't too graphic] but there's some weird people out there...

 

LJ has been suspending people who write/draw situations that involve incest [such as Fred and George Weasley together] or sexual situations with a minor [e.g. 14 year old Harry and Prof Snape] and people are COMPLAINING?! Not complaining that the stuff was there in the first place, but complaining that people are having their freedom of expression taken away! But seriously, wtf? A heck of a lot of them seem to find those sorts of situations a turn on...I'm sorry, but if I had that sort of kink, I'd keep it quiet!

Wierd.

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Huh, one of the reasons I worry about my association with fanfic has reared its head again. I don't mind NORMAL fanfic, heck I'll even accept slash [and sometimes read it if it isn't too graphic] but there's some weird people out there...

 

LJ has been suspending people who write/draw situations that involve incest [such as Fred and George Weasley together] or sexual situations with a minor [e.g. 14 year old Harry and Prof Snape] and people are COMPLAINING?! Not complaining that the stuff was there in the first place, but complaining that people are having their freedom of expression taken away! But seriously, wtf? A heck of a lot of them seem to find those sorts of situations a turn on...I'm sorry, but if I had that sort of kink, I'd keep it quiet!

 

Are these people completely brain dead...it's pretty obivous that's it's downright wrong :mad:

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No, I don't mind at all :)

 

I spent some time in my late teens and early twenties (beginning of the nineties) as an anti road protester here in the UK, living at camps trying to stop them building unneeded bypasses and stuff. The first book was loosely based on that experience, it was basically a bit of a redemption story about a corporate lawyer who loses everything and finds redemption giving his legal advice free for anti-road protesters, but later he goes and becomes involved in a camp himself so it's all mud and bulldozers :LOL:

 

The second was set in the same town ten years later, you can read the opening in my blog it's called The Beachcomber. Although the two main characters in that story are new characters, the side characters and incidental people are the main characters in the first book - does that make sense? :unsure: So it's kind of a sequel but not really.....

 

I have heaps of ideas for new novels, I have the skeleton plot and character studies for a trilogy written down and I work on the first book from time to time (I'm up to about chapter ten) but I have young kids and lack discipline :LOL:

 

Sounds brilliant. I hope you find success.

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LJ has been suspending people who write/draw situations that involve incest [such as Fred and George Weasley together] or sexual situations with a minor [e.g. 14 year old Harry and Prof Snape] and people are COMPLAINING?! Not complaining that the stuff was there in the first place, but complaining that people are having their freedom of expression taken away! But seriously, wtf? A heck of a lot of them seem to find those sorts of situations a turn on...I'm sorry, but if I had that sort of kink, I'd keep it quiet!

 

Well, on the one hand I can understand why people complain about not being allowed to write such stuff. On the other hand I can understand the people who run that site if they don't want anything like that on it, and seeing as it's theirs, it's on them to decide what's okay and what's not. So tough luck.

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Well, on the one hand I can understand why people complain about not being allowed to write such stuff. On the other hand I can understand the people who run that site if they don't want anything like that on it, and seeing as it's theirs, it's on them to decide what's okay and what's not. So tough luck.

 

HUH?!?!? I'm pretty sure the part that involves an adult professor and and underage student is illegal, no matter WHAT the context. Is it only me who seems to think this??!!

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HUH?!?!? I'm pretty sure the part that involves an adult professor and and underage student is illegal, no matter WHAT the context. Is it only me who seems to think this??!!

 

I'm not sure if I fully understand what this is about, I was just assuming that some people wrote some stories about illegal things? Well if that's all they did then that's not really a crime, is it?

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I'm not sure if I fully understand what this is about, I was just assuming that some people wrote some stories about illegal things? Well if that's all they did then that's not really a crime, is it?

 

Sorry I think I mis-understood too. Didn't mean to yell at you lol. Yeah, I don't think it's illegal writing about it, but I just strongly disagree with it. (Unless of course you are telling a serious story about it, coz it happens in real life), but when you start throwing it in to Harry Potter, which is a children's tale, I'm sorry but that's just wrong :mad:

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Sorry I think I mis-understood too. Didn't mean to yell at you lol. Yeah, I don't think it's illegal writing about it, but I just strongly disagree with it. (Unless of course you are telling a serious story about it, coz it happens in real life), but when you start throwing it in to Harry Potter, which is a children's tale, I'm sorry but that's just wrong :mad:

 

That's okay, I didn't feel yelled at really ;)

And I agree on the disagreeing part, but as long as nobody gets hurt or molested or something like that, people should be allowed to write those things. They shouldn't complain if they're not allowed to post it on certain sites though.

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That's okay, I didn't feel yelled at really ;)

And I agree on the disagreeing part, but as long as nobody gets hurt or molested or something like that, people should be allowed to write those things. They shouldn't complain if they're not allowed to post it on certain sites though.

 

Yes, some good points :) A case well argued I reckon :D I love a good debate hee hee

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