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mooncars
01-21-2007, 09:26 AM
...I joined AW after beginning work on a novel. My intention is to take my story, make it the best it can be, and call it even. As for aspiring to be a novelist, I haven't got that desire. Just the one book. That's all. Songwriting, music, recording and playing take up massive amounts of time. Plus a wife and 6 children, becoming an author is really out of the question for me.

I know what I want, and there's no reason to change that. I believe everyone has one good story. Real writers have many more than that. So, I hope my being forthright doesn't offend anyone.

It's not an ego thing (music fulfills that), as I might even use a pseudonym. It's just such a good story (my opinion) that I think others would enjoy it. I haven't got the capacity or educational background to write books. One big hurdle is the number of words needed to be considered. I have 31,000+ and feel it's got some trimmable fat, for sure. Of course, this comes from a guy who thinks Shirley Jackson's The Lottery is the best fiction story ever written.

Why write a book if the ultimate target isn't mass market publishing? Otherwise it's a futile exercise. Mag articles, shorts, etc usually have a short lifespan. And that's all good in it's place. But my desire is to make the one novel. Maybe many of us feel the same. I don't know.

Anyhoot, thanks for letting me bend your ear, I just wanted to state my goals for this undertaking. Any thoughts?

Rick

Adagio
01-21-2007, 09:55 AM
Rick, you mentioned that you joined AW after you began your novel. I'm certain that there's so much help in these boards for your to finish your work in the most satisfying way -- for your soul, not for the mass production. You have a story to tell in your novel. Who knows, you might find later that you have another story to tell (about your family, about a musician and his recording tribulations, something inspired from your life experience). Wouldn't it be nice to learn the craft and "tell" (that is write) the story to the best of your capacities?

To earn a living as a novelist is hard to achieve -- but who knows?
Anyway, you'll do whatever is best for your at this stage in your life. But you seem to be a creative person, and this creativity manifests in music and in the written word. Auther Shirley Hazzard wrote a novel, Transit of Venus, in 1985. Her second novel came two years ago. I read in an interview that all those years she had to take care of her ailing husband.

These are my thoughts I wanted to share with you.
Best of luck,
Adagio

mooncars
01-21-2007, 10:32 AM
Rick, you mentioned that you joined AW after you began your novel. I'm certain that there's so much help in these boards for your to finish your work in the most satisfying way -- for your soul, not for the mass production. You have a story to tell in your novel. Who knows, you might find later that you have another story to tell (about your family, about a musician and his recording tribulations, something inspired from your life experience). Wouldn't it be nice to learn the craft and "tell" (that is write) the story to the best of your capacities?

To earn a living as a novelist is hard to achieve -- but who knows?
Anyway, you'll do whatever is best for your at this stage in your life. But you seem to be a creative person, and this creativity manifests in music and in the written word. Auther Shirley Hazzard wrote a novel, Transit of Venus, in 1985. Her second novel came two years ago. I read in an interview that all those years she had to take care of her ailing husband.

These are my thoughts I wanted to share with you.
Best of luck,
Adagio

Adagio;
Earning a living as a novelist? Not really anything I see for myself. Most stories are interesting, it's the presentation that makes the difference. My Mom could tell a joke and have you rolling on the floor. I just don't have that gift of delivery. Isn't writing the same? So, here I am. Hoping to deliver my novel well by learning what I can. On the way, I like the camaraderie at AW and even having a chance to offer my limited help.
Of course, there's always the very real possibility I won't be able to do it. And that's fine. I had hoped to share a nice little story with the world.
Maybe my novel isn't a novel after all. Maybe it's a short story with a lot of padding. Could be. I'm master of deluding muself. Gee, I'm talking myself right out of the notion entirely (yet another one of my sterling qualities)!
I attempted to be a painter once. I did a couple of nice paintings, and that was that. The rest was uninspired rubbish. A man has got to know his limitations (Sir Clint of Eastwood).
I said all this to point out.....maybe there isn't a point. (Hmm...well, maybe I can wing it for the rest of the post.)
Although this post is scattered, I think my intent may be clear as mud.

Confusion say,
Rick Must Remove Head From Arse :roll:

PeeDee
01-21-2007, 11:51 AM
I wandered in looking for where I'd set my cup of tea down, and now I can't find my way back out.

Of the forums, I mean. Not your thread.

THat would have been made much more clear, if I could find my cup of tea.

Chasing the Horizon
01-21-2007, 04:15 PM
It's 7AM, I desperately need coffee, and all I can find is this cup of old tea.

Wait, I'm starting to see a connection here....

I'm sure that connection would be much clearer if I'd had some coffee.

*Wanders off to dump out tea and make coffee*

Stew21
01-21-2007, 05:26 PM
Some people write because it leaves something of them for their families for later. Some people have it on a list of things they would like to accomplish. Some have an insatiable need to write, and continue to write, published or not. And others have a really great story to tell, just one, so they write it down.
You sound like a creative person. If writing isn't your medium but you are giving it a try that's all well and good. You seem to be talking yourself out of your ability to finish or even understand the novel you've set out to write. Who care if at 31000 words you have some fat to trim. Keep writing. Things emerge in the words, there is perhaps another story for you to tell that you just haven't gotten to yet. Some people here write to be published, some write as a hobby, (some barely write.) ;)
Perhaps the songwriting forum is where you can give back to AW while you attempt to understand your novel, the process of writing, and your story on the novel forum.
Whatever your motivation, your goals, your intentions, if you came here because you are writing and hoping to gain insight into that craft, then get what you can, and give what you can in the forum topics in which you are skilled.
It's easy to talk yourself out of writing. I think a lot of us have that internal self-doubt monitor that sounds in our heads on occasion. One of the biggest tricks of writing is not to let it stop you, whether it's mid song, mid poem, mid short story, or mid novel.
Write your story and then try to write it better, don't worry about the number of words now, just finish it, write it again, edit it, make it the best you can make it and then your writing that you don't intend anyone to read or publish, will be complete and not haunt you.

This pre-caffeine ramble will hopefully make sense.

Where the hell's the coffee?

cinders23
01-21-2007, 06:10 PM
I've known writers who feel the same way you do and they never finish their novels. But I say to them...if you don't see a purpose in finishing your novel then by all means don't finish it. You are happy with your life the way it is...most likely successful in your career and you are content. There is nothing wrong with that.

Then again these types always do have that story that they feel is so good it really should be written (even though they don't want to do it) and it will nag and nag and nag at you without ever being finished unless you reach some sort of break through point where you finally get determined enough to finish it. I don't know how to tell procrastinating writers to reach that break through point...but regardless there is nothing wrong with making the choice not to finish it. We all have priorities of what to do with our time and people put what they love to do first. You have your reasons.

Best,

Cindy.

mooncars
01-21-2007, 08:51 PM
I do frequent the song forum and even beta read some. My MO has always been "If I ask you to help me lift a shovel of dirt, I'd better be willing to help you do the same." It's only right.

After posting last night, I went through my novel and considered if making it a short would be better than meandering more to fill up word quotas. Writing a book isn't anything like writing songs (suffice it to say I was one of the billions who thought it would be a breeze). Songs come easy to me now, even though I struggled for the first twenty years to find my voice and style. I'm still refining that process.

My position is like a guy that wants to make himself a nice suit. The best suit possible. Maybe even one many people will appreciate. But I have no desire to be a fashion designer.

I'm not bemoaning the place I find myself in this writing scene. Rather, I'm grateful that I know what I want. A clear target is so much easier to hit.

Keep on coming at me with the suggestions, admonitions, adverbs, proverbs and premonitions. They go a long way in helping me to finish the book. Yer a swell bunch o'pals.

Coffee? That's for old people. I'm only 46! A Coke and Skittles will do fine.

Rock on,
Rick

The simple things you see are all complicated,
I look pretty young, but I'm just backdated.
(Substitute- The Who)

Judg
01-22-2007, 05:52 AM
Mooncars, I wouldn't be overly concerned about the length to begin with. Tell the story as well as you can. If it's a novella, that's what it is. Your goal is to tell the story. If it were to become a published novelist, then you'd have to be more concerned about the word count, for practical reasons.

mooncars
01-22-2007, 09:12 AM
Judg;
I enjoy reading novella length works. Anything more than that is asking for an awful lot of my time. Thanks for the reply, and good luck with your work.

Rick

K1P1
01-22-2007, 06:03 PM
mooncars,

I think there are lots of reasons to write. Only one of them is because you want to support yourself by writing, or at least get paid for it. Sometimes, it's because a story just refuses to leave you alone. That happened to me.

For about a year I had these characters romping around in my brain and I finally gave in and wrote it down. I wanted to find out the end of the story, which I couldn't do unless I worked my way through it. I do not have the skills to write a good novel and reading over what I've written, I know I would be embarrassed to have anyone else read it. It's not something I'd be willing to read myself. But I learned from the process.

I learned how to manage a 75,000 word ms, which was very helpful when I had to manage a non-fiction work that size. I learned that I can write dialog (I never thought I could). I learned that I could get inside the head of any given character and figure out his or her reactions. All of those are useful to know. If another group of characters invades my psyche and insists on being noticed, I'll know how to deal with them. Until then, I just get on with my non-fiction writing.

We do lots of things for entertainment--why not write? How is this different from people who play sports for their own enjoyment? Who climb mountains? Who play a musical instrument well, with no desire to make it a career? I still remember how much fun it was to wake up every morning, unable to wait to get back to my characters and their story. It was so much fun, and such cheap entertainment - ink and paper don't cost all that much.