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PrancingUrchin's avatar

Can anyone lend me some tips on writing a book, specifically a novel?

Asked by PrancingUrchin (1939points) June 10th, 2009 from iPhone

I’ve been thinking about but am apprehensive about it. Can Fluther help me in motivating myself and keeping me going once I start? Thanks guys!

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16 Answers

Blondesjon's avatar

No. You either have the drive and the love to do it or you don’t.

applesaucemanny's avatar

@Blondesjon I agree but some things might motivate you, I think it’s different for every person like for me it’s hanging out with friends or going to a rock concert you just need to find what makes you tick

PrancingUrchin's avatar

Hmmm, maybe I should rephrase. I have a typical mathematical mind but if I came up with an idea, should I start now with only a miniscule amount that I know I want to incorporate or should I wait until I can plan out more of the plot? Sorry, I guess I’m bad at asking these sort of questions (not a good start :/ ).

Blondesjon's avatar

Do you have an actual idea or do you have an idea that you could write a novel if you tried?

Jeruba's avatar

There’s plenty of how-to information and lots of exercises and tools on the Internet and also in bookstores and places like WritersStore, which has training courses on DVD and all sorts of other aids, mostly but not exclusively oriented toward screenwriting. You can also find writers’ clubs, critique groups, writing classes through adult ed., and so on. Blondesjon is right, you must have that inner drive (and talent), but there is a lot of help available.

It would not make sense for Fliutherfolk to try to put it into a posted answer.

What we can do is cheer you on. There’s a thread for posting your goals and progress right here. Scroll down to the bottom for recent weekly postings.

gailcalled's avatar

@PranchingUrchin: Try writing an interesting paragraph for starters.

(And idiomatically, you don’t “lend” but “give” tips.)

PrancingUrchin's avatar

@Blondesjon, I have an idea but as Jeruba said, I need talent. Ha, I am probably leeriest about that and the intimidating thought of beginning something as large as writing a book.

@gailcalled, You’re right, I should probably just start small. You’re also right idiomatically, I wasn’t planning on giving the tips back. :)
Thanks guys.

Blondesjon's avatar

@PrancingUrchin . . .Just start writing. You’ll know if it’s any good or not.

augustlan's avatar

With a mathematical mind, it may make sense for you to make an outline first. Use your strengths and build on them. Good luck!

Jeruba's avatar

You could also read Anne Lamott’s book Bird by Bird. I think it might appeal to you and help with what you want to do.

YARNLADY's avatar

Write at least four hours every single day. Do not put if off, do not procrastinate.

cwilbur's avatar

Different writers find that different techniques work for them, and what works for one writer doesn’t work for another. Your only recourse is to sit down and write, and find out what works for you.

MacBean's avatar

Just write your idea and remember that it’s a first draft. Don’t worry about making it great to begin with. I’ve also heard a few people say that you should write your first book, store it somewhere for a year while writing a second one (or at least concentrating on some other writing project), and only then go back to the first one to edit.

DarkScribe's avatar

Writing a book isn’t hard – there are tens of thousands of unpublished novels out there that are capable of being best sellers. We get several hundred unsolicited MMS a month of late.

What is hard is getting it published – even vanity publishing is not an answer a the problem then becomes distribution. Most bookseller have various rather limiting contracts as who they stock. There really aren’t that many independent booksellers out there.

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