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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took English classes in college, but my major was accounting so I didn't learn that much about writing.  Then when I was a auditor working for the Government, I got sent to technical writing classes.  I spent a lot of time writing up audit reports.

But writing is writing.  It is a matter of putting ideas down on paper. 

I was lucky to join writing forums and started writing stories and articles on the Internet.  Some of these articles were pretty good and I will use them in my blog when I run out of fresh things to write about.  But I find writing easy and ideas flow from my fingers to the keys of my keyboard.

To learn to write, you have to do a lot of writing.  It is something that you learn by doing.  The more you do, the easier it becomes. 

So how did you learn to write?
 

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Franklin Eddy said:
So how did you learn to write?
A combination of two things:
1) joined a writers' group (the SlugTribe in Austin, Texas -- one of the best if not THE best permanent writers' group; members include 2 professional editors and 3 other professional writers, including major award winners (for example, Year's Best Fantasy Short Story)); and
2) followed Jerry Pournelle's advice -- wrote and threw away a million words of the best copy I could write.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I forgot to mention that I wrote a gardening column for the post newspaper at White Sands Missile Range.  That was a worthwhile experience since a lot of people read the articles and commented on them to me.

My older sister requested a weekly copy of the post newspaper and the Principle of her school read the article faithfully.  I met him one time when I was over at Carlsbad, New Mexico and he said that he followed my instructions and eagerly waiting for each new article.

Writing that weekly gardening column is one of my fondest memories.
 

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Franklin Eddy said:
So how did you learn to write?
I don't think I've quite 'learned to write' yet, but I'm getting there.

Most of what I've learned has come from books - fiction books providing examples and non-fiction books providing 'how to', allowing me to understand why a story works and how to put it together.

And there's also learning from doing. Trying and failing is the best teacher.
 

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I think "learn to write" is the key phrase here.  Still learning. But if you ask what experiences have led me to learn MORE about writing...
1. I've been writing since Jr. High. 
2. I took a creative writing course (I think it was 18mths?)
3. Reading everything I could get my hands on.
 

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I read.

Read some more.

Wrote a novel length worth of fiction.

Read some more.

Read a lot more.

Wrote various incomplete manuscripts.

Read about twice as much as I have at any other point in my life.

Wrote another novel length work of fiction.

Read some more.

Wrote fanfiction.

Read some more.

Wrote my newest novel length work of fiction.

Still, I'm not done learning yet. I'll stop learning the day I die. Until then, there's too much left that I don't know.
 

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1) Learned alphabet
2) Learned how the letters formed words
3) Learned how the words formed sentences
4) Had an idea
5) Learned how to turn idea into words and sentences.


I jest of course. I've been writing for decades, I've been editing journal papers and newsletters for a few years, and I always believe in pushing myself to become better at the things I do, and will continue to do so. I.e. Experience, practice, the ability to read and type.
 

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I have a bachelor's degree in English literature plus I minored in journalism (UNLV - go rebels!). I also have a teaching degree. NONE of these degrees thoroughly prepared me to be a novelist.

The problem is, while the literature degree focused on greats such as Jane Austen and Shakespeare, not much emphasis was placed on contemporary writing styles, which is constantly evolving.

We primarily focused on goal, motivation and conflict, but I hadn't learned about head hopping, POV in tag lines, etc...until joining my local RWA chapter and critiquing with them. PJ
 

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I've always been a reader. I learned to read at 3. Was reading Dostoevsky by 12. When someone was needed to write reports, I was always the candidate. When a club needed a newsletter, I got the job. When someone needed their words fixed, they called me. When a magazine I used to write for was for sale, I bought it.

Funnily enough, I studied Economics and Political Science. But I hate math. I'd rather write, or even better, fix other people's writing.
 

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I have been an avid reader all my life. My love of the written word spurred me to major in journalism and English in college. I think I learned the most about writing though by actually writing as a working journalist. Every day you write and everything you write is edited, hopefully by someone who is a better journalist/writer than you are. The continuous stream of editing really helps improve your writing. I am still improving as a writer and realize I have a long way to go, but I find that writing and then getting feedback is the best way to improve.
 

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Franklin Eddy said:
So how did you learn to write?
Slowly. :D I started out making picture books because I was too young to write much. As I got older, my little stories started having more words and fewer pictures. I don't think I finished a full length story until I was close to my teens. At around fourteen I entered a USA Today writing contest for teens. Didn't win of course. I was still a terrible writer. In my early twenties I started selling short stories to online zines but I didn't have my first book published until my mid-twenties. That gave me the confidence to work harder and submit more books to publishers and agents. Today I self-publish novelettes while waiting for New York to come knocking at my door. :p

Somewhere in the middle of all this, I'm not exactly sure when, I learned to write.

ETA: Oh, and of course their was other stuff. I read a lot, especially anything set in historical time periods. Studied english and literature in college. My intended major was history, so that's been useful to me in writing my historicals. I wrote online articles for various places-anybody who'd pay me a dollar. That tought me to write on a deadline. I joined writers forums, read the craft books, got a critique partner who taught me a lot, attended author lectures, and watched workshop videos.
 

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I have been writing since grade school. My first publication was a poem in a children's magazine when I was in seventh grade.

I wrote for school newsletters throughout my high school and college/university years. I have a B.A. in English with emphases in Journalism and medical sciences. I write for a living doing publications and web pages for a public health laboratory. My previous job involved ghost writing approximately 200 4-6 page academic documents per year. I have published a few magazine articles, though my clips are now sadly out of date. In my own time, I play with fiction. I'm still learning.

I have been a voracious reader since I finished my first "real" book (Little House on the Prairie) in first grade.
 

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I first started writing stories when I was bedridden with a horrible case of mono as a teen (and living abroad) for six months. I took a creative writing class in high school and the teacher encouraged me to pursue my passion. Since then I've worked in PR, etc. and always continued to write novels, short stories, anything that comes to mind. I'm always on the lookout for what others have to say, share, etc.
 

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Read a lot
Extra English courses in college
Write on the job
Law School
Legal writing
Creative writing seminars
Start writing manuscript
Store unfinished manuscript because of job pressures
Retire
Dust off manuscript
 

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Franklin Eddy said:
I took English classes in college, but my major was accounting so I didn't learn that much about writing. Then when I was a auditor working for the Government, I got sent to technical writing classes. I spent a lot of time writing up audit reports.

But writing is writing. It is a matter of putting ideas down on paper.

I was lucky to join writing forums and started writing stories and articles on the Internet. Some of these articles were pretty good and I will use them in my blog when I run out of fresh things to write about. But I find writing easy and ideas flow from my fingers to the keys of my keyboard.

To learn to write, you have to do a lot of writing. It is something that you learn by doing. The more you do, the easier it becomes.

So how did you learn to write?
I'm still learning from others and trying to improve myself. It's never ending. So glad you find it easy. Do you think you're a natural?
 
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