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Charmer


Dec 11, 2008, 7:51 AM

Post #1 of 6 (1347 views)
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Just to say Hi, and ask advice Can't Post

Hi all, I am new here, only found this place a few minutes ago and thought, maybe it be a place to start. I've been writing since I was old enough to hold a pen, poetry, but mainly whole novels (cause I cant do things by halves) but having had a fairly turbulant and eventful life I have never actually finished any of my works. I either let life take over, putting it aside for a while never to get back to it, or, most usually I decide they are not good enough for human consumption and it ends up in a great box full of other tit-bits that also aren't good enough. So here I am, flamming well cheesed off. I want to write this amazing story, something that'll make you laugh, make you cry, shock you and something no one will forget. Not for fame, money, any of the grandure, but because I can, because my brain hurts with these great ideas, a brain that is starting to rot away, wasted. I don't want my life to amount to nothing in the end when I know I have a talent, and so I think, right now this time, I'm getting it done, I will at least try to get something published, it is all I really want to do, but I haven't got a clue.

I have the ideas, I write things well and I know they are enjoyable to the few people I let read them, but I am dislexic, have no formal qualification of any kind and I also know now how difficult it is to get things published. I've seen a lot over the net, companys that promise to get your works published for x amount of money, which, frankly I think must be a con then because even if I had money to spare, how do I know they'll do anything to help me get my book on the shelves? So can anyone tell me, am I wasting my time? Who are the best people to send my work to? The novel I am writing is a fiction, it's a violent, bloody, shocking story with a lot of funny stuff thrown in, more importantly it has a lot of lessons, I feel people should learn from. Can anyone offer advice?


pongo
Buy this book!

e-mail user

Dec 11, 2008, 8:30 AM

Post #2 of 6 (1342 views)
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Re: [Charmer] Just to say Hi, and ask advice [In reply to] Can't Post

Come down to the fiction section and ask some specific questions. We're usually able to provide some kind of help. But in general, if something is well written there is some editor somewhere who will be interested in publishing it.

Welcome!


The Review Mirror, available at www.unsolicitedpress.com

Difficult Listening, Sundays from ten to noon (Central time), at http://www.radiofreenashville.org/.

http://home.comcast.net/~david.m.harris/site/


roswell


Dec 11, 2008, 10:09 AM

Post #3 of 6 (1338 views)
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Re: [Charmer] Just to say Hi, and ask advice [In reply to] Can't Post

Charmer,
Avoid the companies that charge you to publish until you have exhausted all other options--then, ask on this site which are the reputable self-publishing firms.

Here are the other options:
1) Keep writing your novel, and meanwhile, try to enroll in a community college creative writing class. If you enroll as a regular student, you will have access to services for students with learning disabilities, to people who can teach you to edit your own work. These services are generally free (though you can't hand them 500 pages of a novel to edit); you have to learn to do it yourself. The class will also give you access to readers for at least a couple of chapters, readers who can give you a sense of how an outsider would perceive your writing.
2) Once you've written it, revise, revise, revise. If the dyslexia still marks your writing, you will have to pay a professional editor to go through it with a fine-tooth comb, catching all the little stuff that you've missed and that Microsoft word doesn't catch (or gets wrong). You might be able to find someone through said community college. Or maybe you can find a very skilled friend who will do that for you. You can't send it out with little errors, even though those errors aren't your fault--a reader will think you have been careless.
3) Once you have a really impeccable version, you should query an agent. Look at agentquery.com for advice.
If you have a good agent, that person will guide you through the rest of the process.

All of this is slow, slow, slow. It sounds as if circumstances have meant that you've not been able to stay with a project. If you're serious about getting a novel out, there aren't any shortcuts. You have to stay with it (while you're doing what you have to do to make a living) regardless of whatever else happens and put as much energy into the revision as you do in the writing.

Good luck!


Charmer


Dec 11, 2008, 12:47 PM

Post #4 of 6 (1330 views)
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Re: [Charmer] Just to say Hi, and ask advice [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the advice! I know the best thing is to enroll on a creative writing class, I've thought it before lots of times, it's a time thing I guess, but as you rightly say, it will take a lot of time and I need to be fully commited to this. I know that this time, I will have to stick to it, or give up completely. I have to do it now because I feel I am not getting any younger, life runs away from you so quick, and before i know it oppertunity's will pass me by. I read something yesterday, it said, don't worry about getting it RIGHT, get it WRIT, Then worry about getting it RIGHT. That's been a bit of a lesson to me in that I spend so long perfecting the first bit nothing else gets done.

As for spelling - and grama I will never master that, it is impossible for me. I wish I had a friend who was tallented enough to check it all for me, but I don't, only my Mum, and I very much dought she would approve of my style of writing. So I will write it best as I can and check everything with spell checker, grama etc, there may still be the odd one or two mistakes, I'll just have to hope the story's good enough to see it through.


pongo
Buy this book!

e-mail user

Dec 11, 2008, 12:55 PM

Post #5 of 6 (1328 views)
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Re: [Charmer] Just to say Hi, and ask advice [In reply to] Can't Post

See if you can find a writers' group in your area. Check meetup.com and other networking sites, and try putting up signs in local libraries and bookstores. With a little luck you can find people who can help you with spelling and grammar as well as other writing issues.

Once you reach a certain level, there will be plenty of people to help with the dyslexic details. Samuel R. Delany, a well regarded and much rewarded writer, is pretty dyslexic. But what he writes is so good that no one is particularly bothered by his bad spelling. In a pinch, you can always hire someone to fix that stuff (those people are called copyeditors).


The Review Mirror, available at www.unsolicitedpress.com

Difficult Listening, Sundays from ten to noon (Central time), at http://www.radiofreenashville.org/.

http://home.comcast.net/~david.m.harris/site/


JoanneMerriam
Joanne Merriam


Dec 11, 2008, 2:41 PM

Post #6 of 6 (1324 views)
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Re: [Charmer] Just to say Hi, and ask advice [In reply to] Can't Post

Don't pay anybody to publish your work. First, look at getting it traditionally published - for poetry, you submit directly to publishers (starting with magazines and individual poems, and working your way up to books), and for fiction, you can either submit directly to publishers (especially if you are writing horror, which it sounds like you might be?) or you can get an agent.

There's plenty of arguments for and against agents. I'm in favour of them, myself, but that's a discussion that's more appropriate to the agent section of this site. Poke around there and then ask whatever questions you have left after reading old discussions.

The last thing you would do, if you really couldn't find a regular publisher, is self-publish. You'd do that through a *printer* (like Kinko's or the like) or a self-publishing printing service (like lulu.com) NOT through a "self-publishing company" (like PublishAmerica) - these companies are actually vanity publishers and they charge you for a lot of extras which won't actually help you sell your book. Before self-publishing, come back here and ask a lot of questions until you have a business plan all mapped out. A lot of writers lose a lot of money self-publishing. It's not generally recommended for fiction.


Editor: 7x20 * Upper Rubber Boot Books
Most recently: Apocalypse Now: Poems and Prose from the End of Days (Atwood, Bacigalupi, JCO, etc.)

Writer: joannemerriam.com * The Glaze from Breaking (poetry)

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