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I signed up for NaNoWriMo this year (National Novel Writing Month, it is both an event and a place to speak to other budding writers) and started prep work for a novel I've been playing with since spring. I have 10 or 15 books started on my external hard drive and this year I decided to actually finish one and hopefully get it published. Prep is going very well, I've got the characters fleshed out, a believable world (not terribly difficult as it's set in the here and now), and a great storyline. I'm super excited for it, I think it's gonna be awesome even though the story is super dark and sad lol.

And I am terrified.

For some reason, starting a bunch of stories and never finishing them is so much easier to bear than actually finishing ONE story. Especially since this is not a fiction/fantasy, as the vast majority of the stories I write tend to be, but a horror/supernatural with some romantic elements, none of which I read very often or have a ton of interest in lol. But, somehow, it speaks to me like none of the others do and I'm super freakin excited to write it. And also terrified. Lol

Any other WriMos on here? : )

-- Kai
 

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I have been trying to write a book for YEARS. I get going and it seems like it's going to be great and then I get stuck. I keep saying I'm going to write one someday.

FINISH THE STORY! YOU CAN DO IT!

Then maybe I can do it too...
 

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Have not written novels, but have written several academic books. Like @Avna says, just make a point of sitting down and writing each day. I prefer research to writing so I tend to use research as procrastination. I make myself write in the morning, and go back to research in the afternoon. Having a routine helps.

Also, rather than keep writing when I feel I've gotten a really good idea, I stop there because I know it will be easier to pick it up the next day and I'll look forward to it. If I stop because I've run out of inspiration, then I will dread picking up again the next day.

I don't actually mind writing once I just get into a routine, it's the editorial work I find painful.
 

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I love writing novels and have written 7 of them. I have posted two of them on Horse Forum. @Kaifyre, if it is not too much trouble, could you please post your novel on Horse Forum? Folks on the forum are not judgmental at all, and I like reading everything that everyone else writes. We haven't had a novel on here for a while. People are super supportive of what others write and it doesn't have to be about horses.

I guess I am as bad about novel writing as I am about horseback riding. I just get so absorbed in writing that I neglect everything else. It kind of takes over my life, and I have to be careful to keep my life in perspective. Same with horses, I'm afraid.

A majority of my novels came to me in dreams. I'd think about what was happening in the story as I was falling asleep, and the next part would come in the dream. Then I could hardly wait to get it down on paper. The two I put on Horse Forum were not dreams. One was a sequel to a children's horse series that I love. The other was re-telling mostly true stuff that happened to me as I was producing jousting shows. I was happily married, but I made it a romance to make it more interesting, so that part was total fiction.

Also, our very own @gottatrot has 4 or 5 novels on Amazon, which are very well written and great to read.
@Avna, I know you write novels as well, and how I wish I could read one of yours! I know it would be good.

Can't wait to read your work, @Kaifyre! I love reading the stuff people put on Horse Forum and wish more folks would do so.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
@Avna Ergh consistency is my biggest issue. Being on call 24/7 means most of the time I'm not going to get to write at the same time every day, and I already know I'll be having to force myself to write every single day. And a lot of the time I feel like if it's not amazing it just doesn't even need to be written, which is the wrong attitude. I'm definitely going to have to work on this one, no matter what!!
@farmpony84 You should write for NaNoWriMo too! It's in November, so you've got some time to either come up with a new idea or dust off an old one! 50,000 words in 30 days, it'll be great ... haha ...
@Acadianartist That's a great tip, thank you! I really enjoy editing lol ... I have to keep telling myself that the editing and rereading can wait till later. ; )
@knightrider Well ... I suppose someone has to read it first, don't they? I'm hoping to possibly get this one published someday, do you know if I can do something so that it doesn't get lifted? If I can do that I'll be happy to post it here, I'd welcome the feedback. lol That's sort of creepy, this idea also came to me in a dream. It's so weird how your subconscious can be busy making stuff up while the rest of you is off. Where can I find the ones you've written? I'm definitely game to get more reading in. : )

Thanks for your support everybody, it means a lot to read your tips and your encouragements. The word count they're looking for is 50,000 in 30 days, which I try not to think about when I'm sober lol. But I'm reasonably certain I can do it if I put my big girl pants on and just ... you know ... sit down and write.

-- Kai
 

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If there is one single thing that makes my writing better, it is REWRITING.

Yep. When I write -- even a post on the internet -- I will rewrite it a number of times before I get it the way I want. My novels, I probably rewrote every sentence between twenty and a hundred times.

I still have one book I wrote that I like -- most of the rest I don't. I wrote it for my daughter when she was in grammar school and I kept rewriting it until she was in high school -- it got more and more 'adult' as time went on. It was a fantasy novel, not that long, but fun. It even had some horses in it.

I keep thinking I will re-polish it up, but I have not yet. Maybe this winter when it is too cold to ride.
 

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This thread got me slightly revved up about rewriting my YA novel. Then I remembered that I now hate hate hate the only word processing program supported on my Mac, Microsoft Word for Mac. They forced me to pay for a forced 'upgrade' which meant that they changed the whole interface and added a hundred features I don't need and now it is unusable to me. Same thing happened to my photo editing software, so the photos I once could manipulate I can no longer.

Plus I don't know where my hard copy manuscript is, since the move. Maybe in the garage attic (pretty inaccessible without the stairs we have yet to build).

What word processing programs to you all use?
 

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I got really frustrated with Word and am using Google Docs at the moment. Will see how that goes but so far so good.
 

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Check with nearby libraries and see if they have a writer's group (tho it might be difficult currently). I'm part of a local writer's group that meets up monthly. Each month we send out a new chapter for everyone to edit and critique during the meeting. It's really good for motivating you to get writing since you have to submit something. The feedback you get will depend on the group you find. I was part of a group before this that just wanted to read my stories and tell me how good they are. My current writer's group is very critical and points out everything from misplaced commas to tense problems or plot continuity issues. With enough people, there's a good variety of viewpoints to contribute. The only unfortunate part is that some group members can be a little too blunt in their critiques, so new members get scared off easily.


As for writing software, I currently use Manuskript. It's a decent program. Has places for plot and character planning. Separate folders for scenes and chapters, easy to organize. My favourite software is yWriter, but I had to switch to Manuskript since yWriter's linux version wasn't working well for me. yWriter has a better selection of text editing tools like highlighting and strikeouts that make editing easy, whereas Manuskript's editor is limited to simple markdown syntax. I keep all my work synced across my devices with Bitbucket, a platform for storing code.


I don't work well in editors like Word. Writing everything in a single, long document gets too unorganized. I like separating my scenes. Scrivinator is supposed to be another good writing software, but I haven't tried it as you have to buy it. I believe if you complete NaNoWriMo you get a free code for it.
 

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@ApuetsoT You know, now that you mention it I think there's a writing group of some sort that meets (or met, pre-pandemic, anyway) in my city, I'll have to do some digging and see if I can find them, thanks for the tip!

I use Word at the moment. I get along quite well with it, once I disable the editor/spellchecker (some of my dialogue gets pretty informal and I hate all those squiggly lines) and since I refuse to use Apple anything, I've spent my entire computing life using it so I'm quite familiar with it. The Manuskript and yWriter programs sound interesting though, I might check those out.

-- Kai
 

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I have a few I started on this forum and then they fizzled out. Sometimes I go back and add to them but my plan is to actually write one and publish it....
 
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