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Old 08-01-2013, 10:22 AM   #1
Keroin
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Writing, Writers, and Wordy Things

BiBunny suggested we should have a writing thread here and, since she is so wise, I'm starting one.

This is not "my" thread, simply a thread for those who are interested in the craft, who aspire to become writers (hobbyist or professional), or who have writing-related questions or observations. Everyone is welcome, please help yourself to a free thesaurus.

Yes, I know Lit has an Author Hangout but I don't hang out there.

Super mini blurb about me: Like most writers, I have written all my life, but I started down a professional path in 2004. I write fiction, primarily speculative fiction, but I've dabbled in other genres. My short stories have been published in various magazines and literary journals, and I've won a few awards here and there. (I don't place a whole lot of merit in awards, BTW). I have a writing partner with whom I've published the first of a series of five novels. The second one will be out in September.

I am not an expert by any means. I am passionate about the craft. I love to talk about writing and I am always happy to answer questions from anyone about any aspect of writing. I newbs.

Yes, I have written some pron but there are others here who are far, far better at it than I could ever hope to be.

So...

Are you a writer or hoping to become one? What do you write? What do you love most about writing? What are you working on right now? What aspect of your writing would you like to improve?
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:18 PM   #2
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I write comics. I'm wrapping up the first 2 chapters of my 6-chapter story this month and should be going off to the printer in the first weeks of Sept or something like that. (I make no money yet, so I can afford to fudge deadlines.) Together, plus extraneous material in the back, the two of them should come out close to 200 pages of material. I'm also halfway through a 4-page adaptation of the first chapter of Gulliver's Travels for a friend's anthology. It's cute.

writing iz hard, u guise

I hope to make enough money to pay for maybe half the electric bill someday? Or... I'll be in Canada by then, and electricity is cheap up there, so maybe even the whole bill...
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:50 PM   #3
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I write comics. I'm wrapping up the first 2 chapters of my 6-chapter story this month and should be going off to the printer in the first weeks of Sept or something like that. (I make no money yet, so I can afford to fudge deadlines.) Together, plus extraneous material in the back, the two of them should come out close to 200 pages of material. I'm also halfway through a 4-page adaptation of the first chapter of Gulliver's Travels for a friend's anthology. It's cute.

writing iz hard, u guise

I hope to make enough money to pay for maybe half the electric bill someday? Or... I'll be in Canada by then, and electricity is cheap up there, so maybe even the whole bill...
That's awesome, KoPilot! And exciting. How did you get into writing comics?
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:20 PM   #4
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Yay for this thread! Thanks, Keroin.

I'm sure most everyone knows that the majority of what I do is marketing and ad copy. And, yes, most of it is adult marketing. It pays (some of) the bills, but there's nothing else in the world of writing that's quite as ignoble, as far as I can tell.

I do have a couple of blogs that I post on that are not adult, but they're not anything that makes me money.

I would like to write fiction, but I just don't have the gift for it. Maybe I should've been a journalist.
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Old 08-01-2013, 08:06 PM   #5
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Yay for this thread! Thanks, Keroin.
Hey, it was you idea. See, this is what writers do, we steal other people's brilliant ideas and run with them.

Quote:
I'm sure most everyone knows that the majority of what I do is marketing and ad copy. And, yes, most of it is adult marketing. It pays (some of) the bills, but there's nothing else in the world of writing that's quite as ignoble, as far as I can tell.

I do have a couple of blogs that I post on that are not adult, but they're not anything that makes me money.

I would like to write fiction, but I just don't have the gift for it. Maybe I should've been a journalist.
Ad copy stuff is SO difficult! My toque is off to you, BB. I spent weeks on the blurbs for our books, and I'm still only so-so happy with them. Seriously, I would rather write 700 pages of fiction than one paragraph of marketing stuff!

My personal blog isn't a money-making venture, either. More like therapy, lol. I love that I have a venue to write out and share my thoughts without the pressure of trying to sell anything.

I'm curious, what kind of stuff do you enjoy writing most? I don't mean what you think you're good at, necessarily, just what you love most.
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Old 08-01-2013, 08:49 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Keroin View Post
Hey, it was you idea. See, this is what writers do, we steal other people's brilliant ideas and run with them.
HAHAHAHAHA!

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Originally Posted by Keroin View Post
Ad copy stuff is SO difficult! My toque is off to you, BB. I spent weeks on the blurbs for our books, and I'm still only so-so happy with them. Seriously, I would rather write 700 pages of fiction than one paragraph of marketing stuff!

My personal blog isn't a money-making venture, either. More like therapy, lol. I love that I have a venue to write out and share my thoughts without the pressure of trying to sell anything.

I'm curious, what kind of stuff do you enjoy writing most? I don't mean what you think you're good at, necessarily, just what you love most.
I like writing....Um, I'm not sure what you'd call it, actually. A type of short story, maybe?

I like taking things that really happened (because I fail so hard at plot), embellishing them, and writing them in a way that makes them interesting. And I like it best when it's something funny, or at least somewhat amusing. No idea what you'd call that, LOL.

I really do wish I would've been a journalist, though. At one time, I was all "I'm going to write novels!!!!!" But, like I said, fiction just doesn't seem to be something I'm good at. Should've gone for journalism. (Dammit.)
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Old 08-02-2013, 02:52 AM   #7
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I have always loved writing. The first fictional thing I ever wrote were a bunch of song lyrics for my very own "compositions" when I started my piano lessons at the advanced age of 6. My piano teacher would always give me a title, something simple such as Snowman or Butterflies or Space, and then I'd come up with a little composition of my own and she would write it down the next time I had my lesson. And naturally I had to add lyrics, so that the unfortunate people who were deprived of the talent of playing the piano could revel in the magnificence of my musical genius. (I guess it's time I apologize for my mom for making her sing my songs over and over again.)

In elementary school and junior high I won a couple of national writing competitions. The first I won with a humorous story about three witches and their pet bat. The second I won with a dark, dark piece of prose poety. Those are the highlight of my writing career.

In high school I had three teachers who really encouraged me towards more "professional" writing. I was a part of my teacher's (he's a published and successful author) writing group, in high school, but I quit it because everyone else was much older than me - as in over 30, I was 17 - and I felt very uncomfortable showing my pieces to them.

I still feel very uncomfortable showing my writings to anyone. What I write feels so personal, that I'm absolutely paranoid about almost anyone seeing it. The only things I've had published are song lyrics that I write under a pen name for my friend's band.

Now I mostly write academic stuff, but the more I try to concentrate on writing academic stuff, the more I find my obscure brand of fiction surfacing. The biggest obstacle in writing for me is returning to the text, fixing it and working on it. For me writing is a momentary thing, it's getting a feeling or an image on paper and then moving on. I don't do plots or character development, because I absolutely have no patience for it. That's why I write flash fiction and prose poetry.

Writing in Engish has been an interesting exercise as well. I find it a lot easier and I get a lot more words on screen in English, because I don't feel as attached to the text. The flip side of that is that it's horribly cliched, and lacks any emotion. That's why all the pieces in English get deleted. I enjoy writing them, but I don't ever want to read them again. The only text in English that I've saved is a teeny-tiny piece I wrote for my English class in high school. It's cliched and silly, but I love it to bits because of all the memories attached to it.

This is an interesting thread. I'll definitely be lurking in the shadows.
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Old 08-02-2013, 05:49 AM   #8
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I've written fairly frequently for the last fifteen years or so. As of late - short on time. I'm hoping that will eventually change. Unrelated question - how long until I am able to add an avatar? Anyone know?
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:04 AM   #9
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I blog as much as time allows for hubpages, under my real name. I'm not working on anything, right now, but I try to get something up regularly. I do better at that when I'm in school, because I use my papers (after my class is done with) for blogs. lol I'm a decent writer, so I'd just like to get a little more polish to my writing, but time and practice will give me that.
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Old 08-02-2013, 07:03 AM   #10
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I've written fairly frequently for the last fifteen years or so. As of late - short on time. I'm hoping that will eventually change. Unrelated question - how long until I am able to add an avatar? Anyone know?
Pretty much forever. 100.

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Old 08-02-2013, 07:14 AM   #11
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Pretty much forever. We bump up after 30, then 100, etc. I have a link with the list, but 1000 is AV. Would thought you'd know that already.
AV is 100, 1000 is custom tite under your user name.
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Old 08-02-2013, 07:31 AM   #12
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There are two secrets to writing: You need a huge fund of experiences to supply you with exotic characters and scenes readers remember. And you need to know how to extract process from behavior. That is, what does it mean. Sometimes what you see is reconnaissance, sometimes its bait, sometimes its a promise or an omen.

One other thing that's important is the lesson the writing contains. Kids act-out Superman, adults act-out porn stars. And your tale should always demonstrate how to get the job done.
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:53 AM   #13
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It's also helpful to be nearly full of crap.
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Old 08-02-2013, 12:38 PM   #14
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@Keroin: I dunno, it honestly just happened one day. I think it's because I was working on something at the time that I would have preferred to be a full-fledged animated series, but I didn't quite have access to a full animation studio and budget, so I went with the next best thing. :B

@Bibunny: Yeah, jelly. I can't do copy writing for shit. ;-;
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Old 08-02-2013, 12:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BiBunny View Post
I like writing....Um, I'm not sure what you'd call it, actually. A type of short story, maybe?

I like taking things that really happened (because I fail so hard at plot), embellishing them, and writing them in a way that makes them interesting. And I like it best when it's something funny, or at least somewhat amusing. No idea what you'd call that, LOL.
This made me think of Jeffrey Ford. He has some amazing short story collections and among them are the kind of stories you've described. What Ford does is take people and situations from his life, including himself, his wife, kids, etc, and then introduces a speculative fiction element into the story. It's a bizarre combination but it works because it has this very definite sense of mundane reality.

Quote:
I really do wish I would've been a journalist, though. At one time, I was all "I'm going to write novels!!!!!" But, like I said, fiction just doesn't seem to be something I'm good at. Should've gone for journalism. (Dammit.)
Hey, never say never. Everything has changed so much in all aspects of the writing world. Journalism today is not what it was ten years ago. You never know what niche you may yet find.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seela View Post
I still feel very uncomfortable showing my writings to anyone. What I write feels so personal, that I'm absolutely paranoid about almost anyone seeing it. The only things I've had published are song lyrics that I write under a pen name for my friend's band.
If it makes you feel any better, I've never met a writer, no matter how successful, who doesn't feel nervous about sharing their work. Obviously, if they're published they've found a way to push through it, but it still exists. Chuck Wendig, who is a successful and prolific author wrote this on his blog recently: I got seven other books out now with publishers and each time I still get that “I might vomit up a cloud of nervous moths at any moment” feeling on release day.

So, you are not alone, sweetie.

Quote:
Now I mostly write academic stuff, but the more I try to concentrate on writing academic stuff, the more I find my obscure brand of fiction surfacing. The biggest obstacle in writing for me is returning to the text, fixing it and working on it. For me writing is a momentary thing, it's getting a feeling or an image on paper and then moving on. I don't do plots or character development, because I absolutely have no patience for it. That's why I write flash fiction and prose poetry.
The heart wants what the heart wants. Keep on writing, it might surprise you to see what evolves. I love flash fiction, by the way. I think it is the perfect way to learn to distill grand ideas down to their core. It's an art form of its own.

Quote:
This is an interesting thread. I'll definitely be lurking in the shadows.
Cool, but I hope you won't always stay in the shadows.

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Originally Posted by Finely_Tailored View Post
I've written fairly frequently for the last fifteen years or so. As of late - short on time. I'm hoping that will eventually change.
Time is the enemy, isn't it? I'm always impressed, and amazed, at authors who have small children and "real" jobs and still manage to publish novels. It boggles the mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by graceanne View Post
I blog as much as time allows for hubpages, under my real name. I'm not working on anything, right now, but I try to get something up regularly. I do better at that when I'm in school, because I use my papers (after my class is done with) for blogs. lol I'm a decent writer, so I'd just like to get a little more polish to my writing, but time and practice will give me that.
See above.

Yep, time and practice. Natural talent is a thing, for sure, but time and practice is where the "magic" happens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JAMESBJOHNSON View Post
There are two secrets to writing: You need a huge fund of experiences to supply you with exotic characters and scenes readers remember. And you need to know how to extract process from behavior. That is, what does it mean. Sometimes what you see is reconnaissance, sometimes its bait, sometimes its a promise or an omen.

One other thing that's important is the lesson the writing contains. Kids act-out Superman, adults act-out porn stars. And your tale should always demonstrate how to get the job done.
I'm going to disagree with some of this. A huge fund of experiences is helpful but there are authors who've penned brilliant, unforgettable stories who have lived unremarkable lives. The best writers, in my opinion, tend to be keen observers--they can create entire worlds form a few overheard conversations.

I'm curious about the sentence in bold. Can you elaborate?

Quote:
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It's also helpful to be nearly full of crap.
Good writers are frequently good liars, too. Storytelling is really just an artful form of lying.
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:55 PM   #16
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Well, I would like to not totally out myself on this site (you know, 'cause I'm so famous) but I write stuff too.

I think some time ago on this site I wrote that I don't really fit into one category, and that's kind of still my problem. I like to write funny stuff, and I really relate to comedians, but I don't have the desire or material to go down that road.

I've had some success in some ways, and I am trying to figure out what to do next. I would really like to collaborate with someone actually, but I haven't really clicked with anyone in that way. I'm working on something now that I sometimes have doubts about -- it's a project that I shelved to do something else, and am now going back to.

Whatever, the real thing up my ass right now is that I'm kind of down on myself. If someone didn't like what I did, that's what I hang on to, and I think oh, I'm not weird enough, dramatic enough, serious enough, innovative enough, artful enough, etc. I just totally block out any compliments I receive - I enjoy them for about 30 seconds and then I block them out. I've no idea what my problem is. I sometimes can't enjoy a darn thing.
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Old 08-03-2013, 12:41 AM   #17
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Totally true about writers being nervous about showing their work. I was so nervous I created a brand new thread when I meant to post into this one
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:01 AM   #18
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Well, I would like to not totally out myself on this site (you know, 'cause I'm so famous) but I write stuff too.
Completely understandable. "Write some stuff" is good enough for our purposes.

Quote:
Whatever, the real thing up my ass right now is that I'm kind of down on myself. If someone didn't like what I did, that's what I hang on to, and I think oh, I'm not weird enough, dramatic enough, serious enough, innovative enough, artful enough, etc. I just totally block out any compliments I receive - I enjoy them for about 30 seconds and then I block them out. I've no idea what my problem is. I sometimes can't enjoy a darn thing.
I'd guess that part of this is probably your nature. But, again, I also think most writers feel this way. Negative comments are made of glue and Velcro, positive ones out of Jell-o and anal lube. That's a scientific fact.

Sam Sykes, a fantasy author, tweeted recently that writers tend to take things more personally because on some level we actually believe everything we hear. I think there's a grain of truth in there.

For me, it helps if I embrace the negative and use it as motivation to improve--like Stephen King impaling all his rejection letters on a spike above his desk. It also helps me (both with rejection and with having to self-promote...ack, blech) to think of the work as separate from me. Yes, I created it but once it's out of my head, it's a tangible thing, it's a product. A thing to be sold, a thing I'll always work to make better.

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Totally true about writers being nervous about showing their work. I was so nervous I created a brand new thread when I meant to post into this one
LOL. I read your thread, Stella. I would love to help out but for two reasons #1 I am swamped! (Next book comes out in September and I'm deep into the first draft of book three) and #2 I have a big bias in favour of plot and character arc. I couldn't fairly judge a work without those two things.

I hope you do find a good reader. I'm sure someone around here will step up.
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:34 AM   #19
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Are you a writer or hoping to become one? What do you write? What do you love most about writing? What are you working on right now? What aspect of your writing would you like to improve?
I'm only interested in writing on this website for free.

I write erotic stories, the majority of which are incest (mainly because it's the most popular). Lately I've been writing a lot of lesbian and nonconcent stories.

The thing I love about writing is the ability to entertain others, whether it giving them a fun story or something that gets them off. I love reading a good story every so often, so it's fun to be 'that person' who writes for someone else. It also keeps my mind sharp.

I'm working on a nonccent/reluctant story. It's called "A Slut is Born" and its based on the movies where a girl becomes famous.

If I could improve on anything, it might be the sex scenes. It gets repetitive.
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:41 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Keroin View Post
This made me think of Jeffrey Ford. He has some amazing short story collections and among them are the kind of stories you've described. What Ford does is take people and situations from his life, including himself, his wife, kids, etc, and then introduces a speculative fiction element into the story. It's a bizarre combination but it works because it has this very definite sense of mundane reality.
Ooh, new writer to investigate! Awesome.

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Originally Posted by Keroin View Post
Hey, never say never. Everything has changed so much in all aspects of the writing world. Journalism today is not what it was ten years ago. You never know what niche you may yet find.
One can never tell!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keroin View Post
Good writers are frequently good liars, too. Storytelling is really just an artful form of lying.
The one thing grad school (and undergrad, too, really) taught me: How to bullshit, and bullshit well.


Also, not going to lie, as much as I hate my job some days, I love going through the search engines and finding all these sites that either belong to me or that I have done for other people ranking super-high for their keywords.
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:56 AM   #21
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The thing I love about writing is the ability to entertain others, whether it giving them a fun story or something that gets them off. I love reading a good story every so often, so it's fun to be 'that person' who writes for someone else. It also keeps my mind sharp.
All terrific reasons to write.

Quote:
If I could improve on anything, it might be the sex scenes. It gets repetitive.
This is why I eventually gave up writing erotic fiction. I loved the storytelling part but the actual sex bits (which readers expect in erotic fiction), started to bore me.
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Old 08-03-2013, 02:13 AM   #22
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i didn't think i'd be posting in BDSM. still ... it's an avenue to explore.

i see a couple of familiar 'faces' in here. hello to those i know and those i don't yet know much of at all.

for me it started in 2004. i wrote a piece and shoved it onto Lit and waited, nervous as hell, until it showed.

since then i've reacted to feedback - the stuff that counted anyway - and plugged away.

i've experimented in different categories here on Lit. sometimes it seemed to work, other times ... well, not so good!

a huge plus is that i picked up some paid work - a huge boost for confidence as well as bringing in a bit of money.

as for improvement: all areas, in particular cutting out so many damnable commas!
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Old 08-03-2013, 02:43 AM   #23
KoPilot
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Location: Kuiper Belt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keroin View Post
All terrific reasons to write.



This is why I eventually gave up writing erotic fiction. I loved the storytelling part but the actual sex bits (which readers expect in erotic fiction), started to bore me.
"I'm gonna write the hottest story fucken ever"

100k words and 2 sex scenes later

"What even is sex"

I think I'm at this weird point where non-sexual scenes written like sex scenes are more interesting to me? Maybe it's a phase. Though I'm sure everyone could stand to write better sex.
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Fistfelt: n. 1. A blog about asexuality, genderlessness, androphilia, macrophilia, low-libidinousness, and how they interact.

Hey grammar snobs: none of you actually know what grammar is. lol pleebs.
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:27 AM   #24
BrightlyGo
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Location: SF
Posts: 239
I had a paralyzing fear of writing that developed sometime in my childhood (not sure when, really), and caused me to fail classes in high school and even one in college (junior college, but still). i tried to tackle it, head on. i took remedial classes in college even though i'd tested high - the test wasn't writing for fuck's sake, it was multiple choice, wtf - i even took a creative writing course (i was just awful at writing fiction, it turned out). For the longest time i couldn't write unless i was in a back-against-the-wall deadline situation, and sleep deprived (or drunk). Over the years i got over it. One thing that helped was usenet, i got used to writing to persuade and express opinions. One of my hobbies also sometimes required some writing, ironically enough. By my 30s, i thought i'd mostly conquered that fear and tried tackling others (i also had a less unusual fear of public speaking, i got completely over that one a lot more easily).

In 2009, i read 'Bitchy Jones's Diaries' and it mentioned the Erotic Mind Control Story Archive in passing. Now, i'd fantasized about being mind-controlled since i was in grade school - since before i hit puberty, so even before i realized i was submissive (for years, btw, the word i had for it was 'passive,' not that it matters) - so i checked it out and was stunned to find that there were all these people that were as fucked up in the head as i was. Someone there pointed me at literotica.

Anyway, two or three years ago, i was happily reading a thread at the EMCSA discussion forums that had writing contests. The contest that month gave me an idea for a story, and it wouldn't go away, i /had/ to write it out. Seriously, it wouldn't let me /not/ write it, it was weird - it wasn't even the kind of story i preferred. It was very short, 2000 words, but i was awake until 4am writing it, compulsively. Two more parts to the story came to me, taking it up to almost 5000 words. Again, it just happened. i tried writing some more, but, while i'd get ideas and create outlines or write character treatments or scenes or partial stories, it didn't happen again...

...until this year, when i was very upset over something and put it in a story - a truly horrible one, since i was exorcising something so negative from my psyche in writing it. That triggered me, and now i'm writing something else. Maybe i'll even finish it, this time, or go back and finish some more MC stories.


i'm able to write the kind of bland stuff i need to for work.

i'm able to write to carry on conversations in on-line places like this.

i'm able to write in support of my other hobby (the writing it requires is more like technical writing).

Writing fiction is still not something i do so much as something that grabs me by the brain and has its way with me. And, so far, it's all been porn. :shrug: Maybe my muse is a Domme.

Quote:
Are you a writer or hoping to become one?
No.

Quote:
What do you write?
porn, apparently, is the only kind of fiction i can write

Quote:
What do you love most about writing?
i still kinda hate it, its almost traumatic - but cathartic, i suppose

Quote:
What are you working on right now?
a 'first time' story set in the 80s that was supposed to be about gender, but turned into an S&M love story. S&M is the part of BDSM i'm least into, so i don't even know where that came from.

Quote:
What aspect of your writing would you like to improve?
of my fiction writing: Dialogue. Also, i guess, being able to write when i want to, rather than when i need to, would be nice.
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Old 08-03-2013, 06:23 AM   #25
Ruby_Atom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keroin View Post

Are you a writer or hoping to become one?
I am hoping to become one in my "spare time". I have no aspirations for it to be a profession. I am doing it out of a compulsive need to tell a story that's been in my head for years and has finally matured enough to be written down.

I've been ridiculously busy at work these last few months. One day a little over a month ago, I was home sick with a cold, and I suddenly started writing. I couldn't help it. It was cathartic. I wrote 8000 words that day. It was an amazing feeling. In the next couple of months, I will be between contracts with work, so I am hoping to devote more time to it. It's seriously all I can think of doing in my spare time. I don't care for watching TV or playing computer games, socialising, cleaning the house anymore. I just want to write, but I am too tired in the evenings after work!

I have never felt so obsessive about doing something before. I relish it.

Quote:
What do you write?
Science fiction. Right now I am tossing up whether to make it a graphic novel (my original intention), or perhaps an illustrated novel, such as light novels popular in Japan. I would just write a normal novel, but I think so visually, and I do also have artistic abilities.

Quote:
What do you love most about writing?
I hated creative writing in school, perhaps because I was never into the subject matter. I like technical writing. It's part of my job and I'm good at it. Writing fiction is challenging to me, but freeing at the same time. I realised that I really liked writing while I was writing up my thesis last year. I looked forward to it and it was satisfying, and also it felt very natural. It even makes me think that I should direct my career towards it.


[/quote]What are you working on right now? [/quote]

My science fiction story. I've written 18k words and drawn some character designs. I can draw when I'm tired at the end of a long work day, but not write. Writing is for the morning and afternoon!

Quote:
What aspect of your writing would you like to improve?
I want to get better at painting a picture with words rather than just stating what is happening. "Show rather than tell", as my English teachers used to say.

In any case, I am very much a novice, but I can learn!
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