Hello. I am brand new to this site and love what I've seen. It's hard to find people with similar interests in reading and writing to share things with and the fact of the matter is that I've just moved across country (from NY to Vegas) so I have.........noone to share things with. So (as corny as this is about to sound) you are officially my new friends :)
With that said, I could use a touch of advice. As an escape from reality, I decided to start writing a while back. At first, it was nothing but a way to pass some time away. Now however I have about 75,000 words done.
Well, I guess the advice i seek has to do with the fact that I can't help but feel that I am completely wasting my time. I don't feel that there is a distinctive style to it and I can't help but fear that I accidentally fell in to the cliche of fantasy (unknown hero from small place, forced to leave etc. etc.) I also am concerned about the length. I've tried a hundred ways to figure out about how long my word count equals to a typical book size. I expect the final count to be at least 140,000 to 175,000 words.
Am I wasting my time? I know nothing of what I am doing really. No training, no classes. Just a guy who had an idea and typed it up with noone around me to give any input too. So any advice is welcomed and appreciated. Thanx for your time :)
May 4th, 2007, 12:19 AM
You aren't wasting your time if you enjoy it and if you become a better writer because of it.
That said, its impossible for anyone to know if the story is any good without reading it, my advice to you would be to share the story with people whose opinions you respect (and who are capable of honesty) and consider also joining an online critique group and posting a chapter or two on there (places like critters or the oww online writing workshop).
You also have to consider yoru goal. Is it to be published? If so you've got a whole lot of new things to learn about markets, publishers, etc. as writing for publication is a bit like launching a second career. If you want to see your name in print sooner rather than later you may want to try your hand at short story markets, check ralans.com for a list of spec fic markets (also have places where you could send a novel).
As far as length goes I think many publishers actually prefer something shorter from newer authors. It varies widelyu though. I think 90-100k would be your average 300-350 page book.
And don't worry about training and classes; reading, writing, and living are the only things writers need to do to learn their craft. Get some contact with other writers, join a critique group, and you won't feel so isolated and on your own -- it makes a big difference.
Also, even if this novel goes in the drawer never to be seen again (and plenty of published writers wrote several books before selling their first) everythgin you write subsequently will be better.
May 4th, 2007, 12:37 PM
If you enjoy the writing there's no reason not to just carry on, but if you'd like to share the work and see what others think then jump in. Try putting a few chapters up here at the community: http://www.sffworld.com/community/ and ask for some responses - general or specific, your choice, see what people think. I don't believe there's ever any concern about training etc, ideas are what make stories and at worst you'll find out there's plenty of room for improvement in your writing and plenty of places, like us, to sharpen your pen :)
May 4th, 2007, 12:43 PM
thank you so much for the responses. I knew nothing about any of those sites. As I said earlier, I have just found this one. I will definately check those out and perhaps post something that doesn't throw the plot at anyone to hard. Just an..........excerpt for styling opinions. Thanks again. I can see I have definately found a place to hang out when not busy with anything.
May 5th, 2007, 01:39 PM
140 - 175k for a first draft is absolutely fine. When you're done, put it aside for a few weeks, then re-read it with a view to cutting out roughly 15%. You will find as you do this that you need to change things, alter the plot, strengthen areas etc and you will undoubtably end up with a better book.
I second the suggestion to put up an excerpt if you are interested in critiques, though some people find that too much focus on perfecting one area stops the creative flow of the rest!
Hope this helps
May 5th, 2007, 05:30 PM
Thanks for the help on the word count. I will be posting something up to be read so i can get some constructive criticism.
May 7th, 2007, 05:11 PM
just thought i'd let you all know i did submit a chapter to the community board. It is under "Untitled" by Rich L. and there is a link below
It's nothing to heavy just a chapter to introduce a few characters. If you have the time to throw any feedback that would be great.