Advice for potential authors

Discussion in 'Writing' started by Jake William, Oct 23, 2017.

  1. Jake William

    Jake William New Member

    Hello need advice actually I want to be an author how and where I can get basic knowledge.

    Mod Edit: this user was a spammer/spambot but since the post received solid and useful advice from other members, a new thread has been created for anyone else who might find the topic useful or has other suggestions to contribute.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 25, 2017
  2. Tiran

    Tiran Well-Known Member

    Any reasonably intelligent person can write a book. It comes down to the efforts you make to improve your writing, actually doing the work of writing and allowing your criticism and others to change the work into something better. My suggestions:

    Read a lot. Preferably the work of the most celebrated and challenging authors in the genre you want to write in, but read any great fiction and non-fiction you can get your hands on. There is no real replacement for reading to improve your sense of style, grammar and vocabulary. It will also be exposure to the kinds of ideas that authors shape into great fiction.

    Write. There is no replacement for writing, and the longer you put it off the further you are from your goal of writing. It may not be very good, but you'll learn more about what you are capable of and where you're having problems from setting words down on paper then you will from some academic process. Here are some sites that talk about the basic narrative structure of fiction. When you get stuck, thinking about the classic narrative arc is a way to find your way out of the maze.
    http://www.thewritersjourney.com/hero's_journey.htm
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Seven_Basic_Plots
    http://dramatica.com/theory/essential-questions

    Forget everything you think you know about SF from TV and movies, unless you are writing for TV and movies. They are actually very different beasts, and what works in visual mediums doesn't work in written fiction, and vice versa. Learn about writing literature from literature.

    Find people on forums or in local writing groups willing to critique your work.

    After you've actually produced stories or a novel that is worth publishing, worry about the publishing. If you write something of obvious quality people in the know will likely steer you toward the write publishing sources. Which does not mean getting something published is easy, but no amount of fretting about publishing is going to produce good writing - the written work has to come first. Like a professional athlete, you are going to have to be willing to dedicate time to being an unpaid "amateur" before you can expect to take yourself seriously.
     
  3. jo zebedee

    jo zebedee Well-Known Member

    Hi, a couple of sites which might be a useful support:

    sffchronicles.com, knowledgeable members, a number of published authors, a few editors and a knowledgeable critique board. Plus writing competitions etc to get you into the habit of writing.
    Sffworld.com - much the same but a smaller site. Good place to get to know a few people well with lots of knowledgeable voices.
    Absolutewrite.com - personally I find them a bit big for starting-up writers, and they cover all genres, but they're worth a look at, too.

    Find which site best supports what you need, and which feel you like, and introduce yourself. And enjoy it!
     
  4. Tiran

    Tiran Well-Known Member

    Maybe with the right encouragement the spambot would have written a great novel. The first AI literature.
     
  5. Jack Brewhouse

    Jack Brewhouse Well-Known Member

    Writing is extremely hard. Do not expect to succeed unless you are passionate about your work and are doggedly determined to do whatever is necessary to improve yourself. I have a friend who is a brutal critic, get yourself one of those, get used to hard knocks and learn to take criticism.
    Ultimately you need to write for yourself. Publishers in the US are extremely biased and what does come out is very dumbed down. Publishers in the UK are mostly scams, operating just on the right side of legal. The industry is a mess that admits that 98% of books make a loss. Make sure that your work is satisfying for you because you have to be your own target audience. Make sure that you don't compromise yourself and keep your integrity.
     
  6. jo zebedee

    jo zebedee Well-Known Member

    Evidence for this please?

    To any aspiring writers reading this - it's simply not true. There are many scam publishers out there, across the world, with the UK no worse than anywhere else. But the majority of publishers are legal and not scamming anyone. They might not want to publish a particular writer's stuff - but that's a whole different argument.
     

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