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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A couple weeks ago i posted a thread about talent and if i had it (i don't want to get into another debate on if talent exists or not).

And the general feeling was , i suck. boohoo me right?

Well no, even though some of the comments were brutal i took everything said and thought to myself , ok maybe i cant publish a good book yet (or even write one) because i have a lot to learn but i can still learn and i learn best using the trial by fire method.

So i have set up a blog where i will post my work and let it all hang out for the world to point and laugh at and over time with the help of the people that comment on both the good and bad i will learn (after crying myself to sleep and consoling myself that the internet peoples are just jealous :-\).

So far i have removed my short book from Amazon and posted it for people to read but had to break it down into five smaller parts because a 20k bolg post would put anyone off reading the whole thing. So if you have some time to kill please have a read and let me know what you think.

http://stanmarknet.blogspot.com/
 

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So if you have some time to kill please have a read and let me know what you think.
I'm not sure what you want. I went back and found the thread you mentioned and read it. You received some decent advice and some decent overviews of your writing. Time to apply yourself and strengthen your weaknesses.

What do I think? I read Part 1 and I think your writing isn't ready for prime-time. So what? My first stories weren't either. My first attempt at a novel was, in hind-sight, less than sparkling. At the time, I thought it was pretty good. A few years later, upon re-reading it, I cringed.

What do I think? I think that it doesn't matter what I think. If you enjoy telling stories, keep writing. You will become more proficient. Keep reading--with an eye to what the author does that makes you want to keep reading. Emulate it. I can't promise you that you'll ever write something that will earn you acclaim; I can't say that you never will.

The real question isn't what I (or what anyone else) might think. The question is: What do you want? If you want to write, write. It is as simple as that. If you want specific advice or comments, be specific in your questions. A 'What do you think?' question can get you a multitude of answers, none of which may address the point you wish addressed.
 

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Join some online writing workshops like Critique Circle. It's best to have your work torn apart before you publish it. Also learn how to critique the writing of others -- it will improve your own writing immensely. Read as many books as you can, not just from pros but from indie-authors too. Nothing improves writing talent better than reading, in my opinion. And lastly, write and write often.

If all that fails, get a real job.  :D
 

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D.A. Boulter said:
What do I think? I read Part 1 and I think your writing isn't ready for prime-time. So what? My first stories weren't either. My first attempt at a novel was, in hind-sight, less than sparkling. At the time, I thought it was pretty good. A few years later, upon re-reading it, I cringed.

What do I think? I think that it doesn't matter what I think. If you enjoy telling stories, keep writing. You will become more proficient. Keep reading--
I have to agree with the above quote. I am still not sure if I'm ready for the market either, but if I gain a few fans along the way to stardom, then so be it.

I am in the process of re-editing my first novel for ebook format, and I too am cringing at some of the mistakes I made. I currently am attending college (second attempt) for English and honing in on some of the skills I never learned.

A bit of advice if you want more practice in different styles of writing. Head over to www.textbroker.com. It's a freelance writer site where you take on assignments of different topics. If anything you will gain new experience in different styles of writing. It doesn't pay much in monetary value, but the experience you gain can't hold a price. Once you have a few short articles in, do a search through google to see if it has been published yet, and voila, you have one more piece under your belt.
 

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I highly suggest reading this great blog post by Dean Wesley Smith, it changed my life:

http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/?p=329

And this quote from that inspiring post:
So, on a scale of one-to-ten, with ten being the top, the creative skills of a new writer with very few stories under his belt, if left alone, will produce early on a story about six or seven. However, at that point the writer's critical skills are lagging far behind, so if written critically, a new writer would create a story about four on the scale. So take a well-written story that first draft was a seven on the scale, then let a new writer rewrite it and down the level comes to five or so.
Believe in yourself..and write, write, write. Finish one thing and move onto the next. Keep writing and eventually it will come together.

Good Luck
 

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Bryan R. Dennis said:
Join some online writing workshops like Critique Circle. It's best to have your work torn apart before you publish it. Also learn how to critique the writing of others -- it will improve your own writing immensely. Read as many books as you can, not just from pros but from indie-authors too. Nothing improves writing talent better than reading, in my opinion. And lastly, write and write often.

If all that fails, get a real job. :D
I can't agree more. CritiqueCircle.com is purpose-built for this type of activity. Not only will you learn by having your own work shredded, but you'll get the chance to explore other writing styles and genres which will, in turn, improve your own writing.
 

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Why do you need our approval? It's like you're waiting for someone to say, "Yes, you're a writer." Just write and you'll get better.
 

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I have to chime in with Critique Circle. Do it.
Yes, you must keep writing, but just writing without feedback is not as helpful.
Getting AND giving the critiques will open your eyes and improve your writing.

 

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Good for you for taking some proactive steps to improve your writing. (I didn't see the original post.) Sounds like you're developing a thick skin, in any event, which is no small thing.

I'd also like to recommend getting some good books on the craft of writing, if you haven't already. I love Stephen King's On Writing, Self-Editing For Fiction Writers, and although Blake Snyder's Save The Cat is meant to be a screenwriting guide, I found it helpful for novels, as well. Good luck. You'll only get better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
D.A. Boulter said:
I'm not sure what you want. I went back and found the thread you mentioned and read it. You received some decent advice and some decent overviews of your writing. Time to apply yourself and strengthen your weaknesses.
How can i strengthen my weakenesses without knowing what they are? which was the point of the blog , a way for me to post what i have and people who are interested can post what they think is wrong with the specific work so that i can see where my weaknesses are and work on them.

Bryan R. Dennis said:
Join some online writing workshops like Critique Circle. It's best to have your work torn apart before you publish it. Also learn how to critique the writing of others -- it will improve your own writing immensely. Read as many books as you can, not just from pros but from indie-authors too. Nothing improves writing talent better than reading, in my opinion. And lastly, write and write often.

If all that fails, get a real job. :D
I have a real job and which i have to be on call for 24\7 every day of the year , today i may come home early but tomorrow i may not come home at all and that means making a commitment to critique X amount of works a week so that my work can be critiqued a bit tough , the other reason is i don't think that i am at that level and don't want to waste people's times by forcing them to read my work which they would have to do to get points so that they could get their work critiqued.

Jon Olson said:
Why do you need our approval? It's like you're waiting for someone to say, "Yes, you're a writer." Just write and you'll get better.
I am not asking for approval but rather humbly asking for help from people who are better in the craft than me. I plan on continuing to write but writing without learning from any mistakes means i will continue to make the same ones over and over again.

The advice that i go to writing workshops or creative writing classes doesn't really work for me because i am not from a first world country but rather a third world one where those types of things either don't exist or don't happen very often.
 

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I think you have a great attitude. Stick with it. With an attitude like yours, you'll be a winner at the end of the day.
 

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Stan,

Having taken just a quick peek at section one, here is my feedback:

1) I think you have enough command of the English language that it is worth your time to improve your writing and see where that takes you. If someone is a quick study and willing to put in the work, I think they can see rapid improvement.

2) The opening reads a little bit like a recitation of events. There is a lot of unnecessary information in there. For example, a long description of the boss. Is it important? It seems like you can just say he's Asian-American (or whatever you would call it in England--I'm assuming you're British based on your spelling) and leave it at that.

3) Punctuation. You have a lot of run-on sentences. For example, try reading this sentence it out loud, without pausing or taking a breath until you get to a comma or a period:

I was single and lived with my parents which some people would think a sad state of affairs for a twenty eight year old man but it was by choice that I lived with my parents as it enabled me to save money so I could buy a property for all of us in a safer neighbourhood but Beth had a boyfriend and also lived with her parents, sister and baby niece which made things more complicated for her.

Edited: Some would think it sad that I still lived with my parents at twenty-eight, but it was by choice. Their house was located in a bad neighborhood, and I lived with them to save money so I could someday buy them a house in a better area. Beth lived with her boyfriend, parents, sister, and her sister's baby, so she had more family to be concerned about.

Although really, this is a bit of an info-dump. Personally, I would have eliminated that whole long paragraph (I only pasted half of it here) and just write: "Nice." I tried not to be offended at her remark. "You know, I do have my parents to be worried about. But if everyone panics and rushes home at the same time, it will only add to the pandemonium." This version has 66 words as opposed to the original 146. You can sprinkle in the information about living with his parents later, if it's important. I don't think his choice of living situation is pertinent during a riot. The newer version picks up the pace and keeps the writing tight.

4) This is related to #2. You're starting off with a description of a riot scene. A lot of action right off the bat. Excellent. Except...it's not really action. It's all narrative. Little dialogue, and no real action happening, just the narrator...well...narrating. Narrative slows down the pace. Dialogue and action speed it up. You need to show, not tell.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about:


At this time I finally noticed the screams from outside which caused me to move to the window but this was not to see what was happening as this window faced the car park and had no view of the roads outside. When I looked out the window I saw people rushing from both the building I was in that the other building across the parking lot.


Edited:

Screams erupted from outside. I looked out the nearest window, which overlooked the car park. People rushed from the building on the other side the parking lot. I looked downward...

Oh crap!

People were fleeing my building, too.


See the difference? Fewer words, showing as opposed to telling, and no longer in the passive voice.

That's just my first impression. Start off researching show vs. tell, narrative vs. dialogue vs. action, and cutting out anything that isn't absolutely necessary. Just learning those three things will tighten up your story and pick up the pace, making a dramatic improvement.

And let me just say, I think your attitude is awesome! Too often people will just give up, or say "screw you, I'm publishing it anyway." You have exactly the right attitude that will give you a chance of making it someday.

I'm learning a ton about writing from the RWA Conference CDs...learning about rookie mistakes that I didn't even know I was making. If you love writing, keep working at it. It's worth it. Good luck!
 

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The advice that i go to writing workshops or creative writing classes doesn't really work for me because i am not from a first world country but rather a third world one where those types of things either don't exist or don't happen very often.
Not valid. You can get all sorts of information and find writing exercises on line. do a search for 'writing exercise' or 'Creative writing exercises' and go to work.
 
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