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Are any of you writers?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hey all,
I've been toying with the idea of writing romance novels for awhile now, have a good idea and a solid plot for a story, and have even written around 7000 words (only 93000 to go..) and stuff.. but I recently saw a movie that really, really discouraged me. The plot that I came up with, I thought, was very original for my genre, and yet there was the movie, the opposite of what I was writing, but easy to give soooo many others a very similar idea =\\

Are any of you writers? How do you get through the writer's woes?

Any tips or advice? I realize there might not be professional authors or whatnot, but.. any advice would be good! Thanks!
post #2 of 9
just remember that what you write is a story in your words and that there are people out there who would read your stuff for sure
post #3 of 9
Don't be discouraged. There are so many books that have similar plots, but if the genre is popular it doesn't matter.

A lot of people get involved in this http://www.nanowrimo.org/ maybe it's something that would interest you.
post #4 of 9
I used to write poems and short stories for fun back when I had more time and wasn't drowning in paperwork and sleep deprivation. With me it has to be for fun and come from who I am. Just write it and don't care about what you saw, write from your soul and have fun. If you stress or try to make it perfect, that is no fun and isn't as meaningful or powerful IMO for me. Now everyone is different.
I have never read or wrote any romance stuff, I don’t even like chick flicks. lol
post #5 of 9
I would like to write a novel one day, but I have a hard time coming up with ideas for a plot. Everything I think of has been done, and I would like to write something that's more original than not.

For now, I have a website/blog. I write and publish nearly every day. If you'd like to read it, you can click here: andothertimes.com
post #6 of 9
I write poetry and short stories. I'm shy about letting people read them though.

In the late 1980's I entered a short story contest hoping to win the cash prize. I didn't win, but I was contacted by the publisher. They liked my short story and felt it would make a good novel and asked if I would be interested in expanding on it. They offered me a cash advance too. I took some time to think about it, and as much as I wanted to say yes, I found myself declining the offer. The thought of having my writing published freaked me out to the point of panic.

About 6 years ago I decided to take another chance and submitted a short story for publication. It was accepted. Again I went into panic mode and never followed through.

I think the problem is that I put myself into the position of my main character, or any character that I'm writing about, and thus my writing takes on a great deal of "me". It's not uncommon for me to be bawling my eyes out while I'm writing something sad because I'm writing from my heart based on my own emotions.

If you enjoy writing and have a talent for it, go for it!!
post #7 of 9
I used to write when I had time, but nothing seriously. I read constantly so, from a readers point of view, a romance story normally goes like this:

boy and girl meet,
boy and girl don't get along but there is "something" there...
boy and girl hook up, the boy (or girl) does something stupid.
boy and girl start to go their separate ways because of a miscommunication and they are completely miserable without the other...
somthing happens to bring boy and girl back together and they live happily ever after.

I love romance novels but that is the basic plot. How it all happens is different in each book but basically everyone knows how it's going to turn out. For me, the plots are interesting, but I'm actually more interested in the characters themselves. I need strong character developement and background to really get into the story. If that is lacking, that is when I'm going to put the book down. But, if I started reading a novel about Jack and the Beanstalk, and the author went into his history and the giant's history and gave me some insight on what they were thinking I probably wouldn't put it down.

Basically, don't be discouraged. Keep writing! I've always wanted to know a famous author.
post #8 of 9
Well... I was a writer by profession, but not that kind. I've written every possible sort of commercial material, from simple brochures to musical video productions, but I've always shied away from fiction for the same reason Linda gave -- it's too true!

Around 1980, a former English teacher of mine published what's called a "regency romance," and I went to her booksigning. She autographed my copy with, "If I can do this, so can you." I knew she was right -- but I had zero interest in the genre.

But about six years later, desperate to buy my first computer, I was casting about for a way to earn a few thousand dollars in one swell foop... and just like in the movies, I heard my old teacher's voice in my head, all echoey: "If I...I...I... can do this...this...this... so can you... you... you..."


Well, I did some research and found that when they call those series romance novels "formulaic," they aren't kidding: some publishers actually have certain page numbers by which certain events in the story have to happen! It seemed awfully rigid to me... but at that time, a new writer could expect to make about $4500 on a series romance, and that was about what I needed, so I decided to try it.

But my story (titled "Floodwater") -- quickly became too dark and intense for series romance, and it wouldn't fit the pattern precisely. It was too heavy for romance, but not quite complex enough for mainstream fiction, y'know? I wrote the beginning, the ending, and key scenes throughout, but it's only about halfway done, and I'm sure I'll never finish it now.

I liked it, though! Until I wrote it, I was convinced that I couldn't write fiction... so it was a good experience, and it showed me that I could do it!

So... based on what I learned during that time, my primary suggestion to you is to approach the project methodically. If you were writing mainstream fiction, you could run with whatever ideas came to mind -- but the romance market is fairly inflexible.

You'll want to read romances from various publishers, then request a writer's guide from each publisher you'd like to write for. Study the guide and structure your story to fit it. You'll probably want to outline the story, event by event, scene by scene, and make an index card for every scene (noting the characters, location, and what happens in the scene), so you can easily adjust your structure as you go.

Go to booksignings every chance you get and talk with the authors, especially if they're writing in your genre. If there's a writer's group in your area, where publishing novelists get together and talk, see if you can join. Before you decide to share your work with them, though, consider: a lot of writers feel that it's better to keep the book to yourself until you're nearly finished. It's difficult enough to keep the momentum going when you're writing a long project -- if someone gives you a negative (or worse, indifferent!) response, you can lose heart altogether.

Finally, about this "it's been done before" problem: as others have said, you don't need to worry much about that. In romance novels, at least, everything has been done before! What makes a story interesting is not just what happens, but how it happens, where it happens, who it happens to, and what else is going on while it's happening. So don't let plot similarities scare you off.

I guess that's all I know. Good luck!
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiery View Post
Are any of you writers? How do you get through the writer's woes?

Any tips or advice? I realize there might not be professional authors or whatnot, but.. any advice would be good! Thanks!
As those of us who've done some writing, esp. fiction have been told numerous times... there is NO originality anymore. All movies/books/etc are, at their core, from a handful of basic plots. What YOU do with them, and the personal touch you give your plot, characters, and background, is what makes each one unique. Yes, I am one. No, I'm not published... yet. I will be. I will be. I have three rough draft/2nd or 3rd edit manuscripts chomping at the bit to be finished. All three came from what SW mentions below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
A lot of people get involved in this http://www.nanowrimo.org/ maybe it's something that would interest you.
Yes, I'm insane. I've done NaNoWriMo three years running, and have complete each one. Two fantasy novels and one sci-fi. Go, look at the website and what the insanity of NaNo is all about... then if you have any questions, ask me. I'm here, and I'm knowledgeable in the crazed ways of NaNoWriMo (for those who don't what that is: National Novel Writing Month... yes, I said Month).

If you have any questions, concerns, etc, ask. PM me if you like. About NaNo, writing in general, any of it.

As what Carol and Linda mention about it taking on too much of their own personalities... yes, it happens... but that's what the editing process is for!! I write in a different manner... I refer to it as the Ray Bradbury Method. He does this, and hey, it's worked for him all these years... I would recommend getting his book about writing... although he's not the same genre as you want to write, he has some excellent tips. His attitude is that he is the scribe for his characters... he's not telling the story, but his characters are and he's just getting it all on paper for them. Some folks prefer planning to death... which is best for some things. If you're doing any kind of sub-genre romance (historical/paranormal/pirates/humorous/etc), research your setting *thoroughly*

Also, publishers, from what I'm seeing lately, want a fresh twist on things... if they're going to really put any money behind it. FYI: have a print-ready manuscript. Editors, IMO, are taking longer coffee breaks as opposed to reading and working with their writers. I can tell you about some glaring errors in some recent fantasy books that PO'ed me. No editor worth their salary would have let those slip into final print. (No, it wasn't Harry Potter, someone else)


Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
Well, I did some research and found that when they call those series romance novels "formulaic," they aren't kidding: some publishers actually have certain page numbers by which certain events in the story have to happen! It seemed awfully rigid to me... but at that time, a new writer could expect to make about $4500 on a series romance, and that was about what I needed, so I decided to try it.
I'm already nearing book length for this post, so I'll be brief. They do this for mystery books as well... sick, really. Romance is flooded right now with a LOT of people trying to get in. I had a friend who finally sold her book to a publisher... and not ideal company (in terms of paying royalties, etc), but they wanted her book... historical romance, was told it was the hottest thing at the time... took her YEARS to get it sold...

Okay... must head bedward... argh!

Amanda
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