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Cafe Doom  |  The Critique Crypt  |  General writing chat  |  New writer need advice.
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Author Topic: New writer need advice.  (Read 8125 times)

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Offline Nickj611

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New writer need advice.
« on: March 28, 2007, 09:37:48 PM »
My name is nick jacob. im 16 years old. i always loved writing, but never actually put my gift to work(i want to be some kind of writer when i go to college). a few days ago i started writing a horror/adventure book, im 57 pages into it, and so far so good. i been getting really good reviews from teachers, friends etc. but i have one question. I have alot of dialog, and im feeling like im using the word said,asked, etc way to much. is there any tips anyone could give me that would help me out? thanks alot.

Offline SharonBell

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Re: New writer need advice.
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2007, 10:26:20 PM »
Hiya Nick!

Welcome to CD. If you have not already gotten it, I recommend the book, "Self-Editing for Fiction Writers" by Browne & King.

The first rule is to get out of the way of the story. If the author interjects him or herself, it's called "Author Intrusion." This is terribly poor form.

The simple way to tag dialogue (if you must) is to write: said or asked.

If at all possible, it's better to decrease the "tags" and to have a ping-pong effect where the reader is so aware of who is whom, that there are no tags needed.

Some millions of us are still working toward that goal.  :)

So, happy writing and keep doing it. It's the only way to get better.  :afro:
"Be good and you'll be lonesome." Mark Twain

www.sharonbuchbinder.com

Offline Geoff_N

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Re: New writer need advice.
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2007, 02:08:24 AM »
Hello Nick,

Sharon gives excellent advice.
Also read carefully Allan Guthrie's page here
http://www.hardluckstories.com/fall2004/Hardluck%20Stories/Hunting1.htm

he is an aquisition editor for a tough adventure / crime publisher - but as he says, rules are made to be broken. I don't know about English teaching in the US but here in Britain schools encourage creative writing with many adjectives and adverbs, and other flowery usage frowned upon in contemporary publishing.

Good luck, Nick, and I wish I'd started seeking expert help at your age!

Geoff
« Last Edit: March 30, 2007, 03:23:06 AM by Geoff_N »

Offline Ed

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Re: New writer need advice.
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2007, 03:41:05 AM »
Hello Nick. Like Geoff, I wish I'd had the gumption to seek advice when I was your age and, like he says, English teachers are generally out of touch with what publishers want.

To quote Stephen King on dialogue tags:

Quote
...while to write adverbs is human, to write he said, she said is divine.

Might be a good idea for you to post a page that you're concerned about in this part of the forum - http://www.cafedoom.com/forum/index.php/board,37.0.html so we can see what you're talking about. And my tip for a good book on writing is 'On Writing', by Stephen King. It's a 50/50 mix of writing tips and biography. Well worth reading. Not that you should fill your head with do's and don'ts. The most important thing, I think, is to read a lot and write a lot. Try to emulate your favourite authors.

Good luck with your writing :smiley:
Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]

Offline Nickj611

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Re: New writer need advice.
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2007, 06:33:09 PM »
Thanks to everyone that have responded. I have used that ping-pong effect where it is obvious to who is speaking. I will read up on the articles yall have linked me to. I would gladly post a part of my book, but i write in a notebook for now, so i can take it with me to class and whatnot. I feel like my book has potential. I have to say for me being a novice, its pretty damn good haha. Its a new twist on an old topic.

Offline SharonBell

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Re: New writer need advice.
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2007, 07:44:15 PM »
Go get 'em! :cheers:
"Be good and you'll be lonesome." Mark Twain

www.sharonbuchbinder.com

Offline Ed

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Re: New writer need advice.
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2007, 03:01:45 AM »
I have to say for me being a novice, its pretty damn good haha.


We all thought the same when we started :afro:

Make a backup copy and learn to type, even if it's only with two fingers it'll save you loads of time and hassle later. Publishers don't even look at hand written manuscripts any more, apparently. Probably would be a good idea to write in your notepad during the day and then back it up to computer at night. Even if it's just to ensure you have a copy in case something happens to the notepad. :smiley:
Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]

Offline Nickj611

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Re: New writer need advice.
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2007, 01:43:02 PM »
I like writing it first freehand, the first rough draft you could call it. Then Im going to put it on the computer so i can edit it and whatnot. I have the plan to make this a trilogy, and the topic that i am writing about has a lot of potential and is only limited by my ability as a writer. What would take in college if you plan to write for a living. Im planning to get a double major in Mass Communications( journalism) and Political Science. Maybe even a minor in Philosophy. Would that be a good route to take, because I am also interested in Politics.

Offline Ed

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Re: New writer need advice.
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2007, 02:38:36 PM »
Journalism seems like a pretty cut-throat profession to me. Probably OK if you thrive on pressure and deadlines, but I don't, so I don't think it's for me, but it might be right up your street. With choosing a career path, I think the main thing is to choose something you enjoy doing. That's the bottom line, really - you will be doing it for a long time, so you might as well earn a living doing something you like. :afro:
Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]

Offline Nickj611

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Re: New writer need advice.
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2007, 09:25:56 PM »
I thrive under pressure so sounds good to me haha.

Offline Geoff_N

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Re: New writer need advice.
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2007, 03:08:17 AM »
I agree with Blunt, but I know some journalists who are pretty laid-back too.

In some ways I wish I'd gone that route into fiction writing, but then teaching gave me a heck of a buzz even if little time for writing fiction. Nick, manymanyMANY top selling fiction writers started as journalists   ;)

Geoff

Offline Nickj611

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Re: New writer need advice.
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2007, 10:58:13 PM »
What is a good job you cant get straight out of college if you get a degree in Journalism.

Offline speyeder

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Re: New writer need advice.
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2007, 09:03:25 PM »
 We are a part of every person we ever meet, and every experience shapes us to some extent. Let your curiosity take you somewhere new, live a little and then put your thoughts and feelings into your work and you should do fine. You can also write jingles and greeting cards, or the odd bit of poetry to woo  a woman or two.  ;) :cool:

Try and write something each day, even if it is a short journal entry. Listen keenly to people you find interesting, for it will help you become a better story-teller. Pretty much every one likes a good story, and most of my favorite writers realize that HOW a tale is told is often as important as the tale itself. :afro:

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