View Full Version : Is anyone writing a Novel?

Loose rivets
22nd May 2005, 07:23
Is anyone writing a Novel?

As an aspiring writer, I'd be interested to know if there were others on the forum with similar dreams.

I started a book about thirty years ago–just for fun–but gradually formed the opinion that it was a good tale and aimed for a higher quality of writing. Then I did it again...and again.

I'm now several hundred thousand words into my magnum incrediblus, and have a tale so complex and wondrous, that it will be impossible to finish before I pop my clogs.

It seems that I have the imagination, but not the discipline needed for sheer hard work. Perhaps contact with like folk, will spur me into finishing a best seller.:8

22nd May 2005, 07:33
I've had a go as well. My problem - passingly good wordsmith but no imagination!

22nd May 2005, 08:09
Bonsoir á tous.

Did come upon me some 5 yr ago to take a historical theme and transpose a plot, setting it in more contemporary cataclysmic times.
Essentially the story is a 'remake' of a classic tale, so direction and sub-plots aren't the hassle. Central character, again no prob. Some supporting cast need more colour and development, accuracy of historical detail ditto.
Only thing remaining - carving out time and solitude to complete it.

From the first thoughts on opening and scenes I've been mashing around notes, considering chapter length, breaks, mood, character importance, segue, relevance of this or that country/culture.
What, essentially, is the direction of my train-of-thought? Only this, when the story refuses to lay down, when you're drawn back to that little voice at the back of your scone saying, "I'm here still. . . when we gonna start. . ?" then get down and DO it.
:D The rest will follow. Nothing great ever comes easy. When we put our dreams out for public purview we risk their loss but never risking is being chained by our attitudes. Those who don't risk never live.

See here (http://www.newnovelist.com/articles/how_to_write_best_selling_novel.htm) and
here (http://www.steampunk.com/sfch/writing/ckilian/)

Bonne chance :ok:

22nd May 2005, 11:02
We have a Skippyjet Captain who wrote a book not so long back (called "The Crew" and a top little read it is too)

When I asked him how easy was it to get published he got a tad vocal and basically said if you wern't a woman with big bristols then forget it.

So - for all you budding Bill Shakespears out there, lotsa luck in getting your magnum opus onto the best sellers list.

I wonder what it must feel like to see your blood, sweat and tears on the 5 for 2 dollars stand or even worse, on the 50 cent shelf at the local Salvation Army seconds shop.

Don't ever stop trying tho....


Solid Rust Twotter
22nd May 2005, 11:12
Wrote most of an adventure story a few years back. While en route home from the ice, I happened to read through a few chapters and was so appalled and embaressed that I heaved the manuscript overboard.

Currently in the throes of writing a cookbook involving beer....:p

22nd May 2005, 11:19
... if you wern't a woman with big bristols then forget it.
Yeah. That must be the real reason. How original.

I wonder what pathetic excuse all the women whose writing is not good enough can use. Oh, I know ... If you're not a man with a big p***k then forget it.


I haven't written any books but I did help a friend to write a history of one of our cities. It is quite an involved process and you may need to rely on friends for initial proofreading, spell checking and the ruthless eradication of the split infinitive. If you are considering artwork, you might be able to do it yourself or, again, enlist the help of an artistic friend.

Good luck with it.

22nd May 2005, 16:00
I've started the same historical novel three times already. My problem is my lack of a classical education. Not much English Compisation at Twickenham Tech!
My wife is a teacher and is pushing me. So, maybe soon I'll be out there!

Loose rivets
22nd May 2005, 19:59
Tech?? Luxury!! Secondary school me...had to get up in't morning...before I went to bed, and trudge five miles in't snow so that I could be beaten all day.

Another trouble I have is Mrs R. The poor girl has lived with this book's characters for so long, that any mention of the storey makes here eyes glaze over. This, plus the not very well stifled yawn, is rather discouraging. It's a shame, cos a classical education in India, gave her a far higher standard of English lit and spelling than wot I got, and the rare times that she proof reads are very constructive for the book, but not so for the marriage. "But that will loose the entire meaning of what I'm trying to say!" "Well if you want to sound like a @#$%, put it that way round." .......probably best not to work too closely with the Missus, if one is to stay healthy.

Thanks for the links. Will read in full later.

I know what you mean about 50p in the sell-off department syndrome. I purchased "Head in the clouds" from the local library at home. 10p. It was in the setting of "First Light" but quite different in its presentation of events–more than a little about the hijinks in the mess. It had not been taken out much, and never should have been relegated to the 10p shelf.

After a miserable flight--where he gets battered by an horrendous storm--my main character dies. It's what happens after he dies, that has become excessively complex. It started out as a basic Sci-fi, but typical of me, evolved into a complex argument for a possible physical and theological model. I'll show a bit of self discipline, and stop there. They do say that you should never discuss your own work. I suppose ‘they' are scared of the ensuing terminal boredom.

I know that a lot of people have a book in them.

Solid Rust Twotter
22nd May 2005, 20:10
...Or it just feels like a book.

Either way, a good laxative should sort out the problem.

22nd May 2005, 20:43
Seems like there's lots of imagination out there. If anyone has written, or would like to write poems/lyrics, PM them to me. I'll put a tune to them and we can half the money when the royalties come flooding in! In all seriousness, I am a guitarist and would give any PM's serious thought.

Just to spur you on......Gerry Rafferty still lives off the royalties to Baker Street. One hit and we're made :ok:

22nd May 2005, 20:50
I have always thought I might have one in me ............. a novel, I mean.

But I have found it impossible to start writing. That is supposed to be the hardest part isn't it? I admire people who have made an effort to get on with it. :D

Editing and proofreading is something I can do. I've even been paid for it in the past ............. editing and proofreading, I mean!! :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Atlas Shrugged
22nd May 2005, 23:33
Plazbot started one in 2003!

23rd May 2005, 00:01
In that case I guess I won't be having too much trouble with publishing my own book.... what good news!!

Yes I've decided to write a book, too.

I'm going to call it "My Mammoires" and high-light the more mammorable moments in my romantic career.

I think that is the best title as "A Trip Down Mammary Lane" is a bit of a mouthful.....

I'm going to have a special edition bound for all the raving man-hating feminists out there in WA to take to their book-and-bra-burnings. Once they've paid for it they can roll their own ******* with it for all I care!!!

Everyone's got a story to tell. The problem is finding people who will stop to read it.

23rd May 2005, 02:13
Guilty as charged.

In a desparate effort to earn enough to pay for my claret habit, I used to put pen to paper in the evenings. Mostly editing (translation: completely re-writing) stuff for a friendly publishing house.

After a while I thunk I might try an original. Sorted out the plot in two weeks, knocked out the words in another two. (Children's story, only twenty thousand words). 'Twas accepted by publisher who then decided to give up all fiction! Found a second house that was interested who went bust less than three months later.

So sod it. Child stuff no good, better write for adults. Crafted a thing with thinly-disguised rip-off stuff from Hiaasen (speeling?), Elmore Leonard, Douglas Adams, Robert Rankin, etc. Got thirty thousand words into it, offered it to Mrs Beak for comment. She reckoned it okay, but no different from a thousand other offerings. "Write a book set where you can give it deep background," she said.

I spent months trying to find a plot, or adapting what I'd already got. No. Nowt. 'Erindoors said, "Never mind. Start writing, the plot will come."

So I did, and it didn't! I'm now about thirty-five kilowords into the thing and the end is... hazy, would be a kind description.

I should hesitate to ask this, but would anybody who has a strong stomach kindly visit a secret location (http://www.houseoftoucans.com/Action/Act1.html) and tell me if it's worth continuing?

23rd May 2005, 04:37

will your book have pics?

As I am a raving man-hating feminist, do you think I could have a complimentary copy of your special edition?

Loose rivets
23rd May 2005, 04:57
S R T, you just made me spray the keyboard in claret again.

Tart 1. Errr........could I suggest. "once upon a time." Oooh...and by the way. In Scientific American this month, there was a letter from one John Richards from Boston Lincs UK. who signs himself from The Apostrophe Protection Society. Thought you might like to know that.

now I'm off to a secret location...

23rd May 2005, 06:30
:O For some years now; I have wanted to write a book.
There is a mitigatory factor.
As I read through the correspondence which appears in Pprune I do become disheartened. With few exceptions amongst the contributors, and of course, you know who you are; the standard of English is so low that I doubt I would be able to compose anything so basic as to be readily comprehensible to the general populace.

This, of course, is a source of great relief because it means that I do not have to sit entrapped in my study for six hours a day awaiting inspiration.

bristols? Off to the apple-dumpling shop. Tra La La.:p

Loose rivets
23rd May 2005, 07:00
Just back from a secret location, and I can honestly say OB, that by the end of the sample chapter I had become intrigued enough to want to turn the page agin. This is perhaps one of the most important things to aim for.

I am totally unpublished, so I can only speak as one who might be sitting next to you in a writer's class.

You have set yourself a difficult task with this piece. It struck me as being deceptively difficult to write. One gets the feeling that you are aware of the frenetic activity, chaos and banter on such a set, but to put that onto paper is by no means an easy task. To merge the complexity of that scene, with the first fleshing out of the characters, is a burden that is more than the sum of its parts.

The reader will expect jargon, but it has to be tightly controlled, so much will be meaningless to the layman and should be little more than background noise. Techniques for ‘fading out', while your characters go through repeat technical procedures, are difficult to engineer in...or at least they are for me.

Don't fall into traps. For instance, let someone cuss at the motor bike at the first mention, then it is immediately clear that it is an offending object. Sudden intrusions need lifting it out of the general conversation.

Hazy ends leave themselves open for a good twist in the tail...or even a sting.

People are always telling me that children's books do very well, so keep all your work tucked away on CD somewhere.

Above all, keep at it.

A lifelong friend has just written a thriller. He has been a pilot all his working life, but has always been a good storyteller. The story is good, but I can not stress strongly enough to him that it still requires a massive amount of work. To the amateur, getting the first draft out seems a monumental task, so the thought of re-writing 10 - 15 times is daunting to say the least. But it has to be done.

Now, all I have to do is follow my own advice.

NB Oh, and by the way, the XK engine has a cam chain. I found that out to my cost 35 years ago. :ugh:

23rd May 2005, 09:29
Have written about 14,000 words of a novel, started it late last year, and due to various other things haven't written anything for about three months now. I must get back to it.

23rd May 2005, 10:22
Yup, me too. I've got an idea which I've talked through with a couple of friends, and they like it. I've started to write an outline, but haven't got very far. I am taking a notebook to work with me to jot down any inspiration as it comes...

Also planning a non-fiction work.

tony draper
23rd May 2005, 10:54
One is not bad at the beginings of stories and indeed the middle bits, tiz the ending that stump one.
The easiest way is just to kill everybody off.

23rd May 2005, 11:19
Writing a novel is easy

Researching the sex scenes, now that's a problem.

23rd May 2005, 11:26
The Forum is. Check the Finish the Sentence Thread started by some stud.

23rd May 2005, 12:53
I started writing a novel but it turned into a screenplay which is now registered with the WGA (writers guild of America)! I have a copy of it lying around a hard drive somewhere if anyone is interested in having a read (PM me).

More importantly, if there are any agents reading this forum that want the next movie blockbuster, get in touch :ok:


23rd May 2005, 17:58
Anyone going to volunteer to put the 'Finish the Sentence' thread into book format?

25th May 2005, 02:11
Mr (Mrs? Miss?) Slackly Rivetted,

I grovellingly thank you for your kind words. 'Tis as I'd thunk; get the framework right first, then bung in the bricks. I have some vague ideas. And plan to use the occasional bit from the original what I reckon okay.

So - back to the drawing board.

A thousand thanks for your trouble. Though, as I live in the East, I can't write such a phrase without expecting, in reply, "Aaagh! One thousand cannot. Six hundred can?"

May your god of choice bless you. Real good.

25th May 2005, 02:48
The Beagle sat on the roof of his bullet scarred kennel. Curse you Red Baron! Staring at the battered typewriter, comtemplating the unfairness of it all, he reached for the keys with his one uninjured paw.

It was a dark and stormy night...

Loose rivets
25th May 2005, 06:13
And Captain T. Ribal Uprising, squinted from under the peak of his hat at his beautiful young First officer.

"It's a terrible night." He grunted, smoke flowing from his nostrils...which was odd, because he had never used tobacco.

"Well, now that you mention it, yes it is..." She sighed, "...and do you have to wear your hat in bed?"

25th May 2005, 09:31
Currently working on 1 historical romance and 1 set of memoirs of current experiences. First has been WIP for about three years, got Mr SP to give me a laptop for Christmas to help finish it, it's great for prooning on and playing games but not making much progress with novel. May have another go at it thanks to this, and meeting with mate the other night who saw the first chapter and loved it, and is now urging me to finish it cos she works in the trade and says Georgette Heyer's having a big return to popularity!

25th May 2005, 10:04
Another problem is where to file the
rejection notices.

I suspect that 1) Personal contact with an agent, or, 2) Incredible good luck

is needed as adding another bundle of paper to the slush pile of a publisher has virtually no chance of success.