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12

Really simple answer is this: Write one book. Tie up all the loose ends. Make it one complete story. But imagine it as book one of a series. Don't let we the reader know that -- it should be undetectable to us, but you will know there's potential for a series. When sending to agents and publishers ensure you include the golden words: "Stand-alone novel ...


11

Not really, no. That would be like trying to learn a foreign language without ever hearing it spoken or seeing it written. You can certainly write, inasmuch as you can write words down on a page. But that's not "becoming a good writer." if you have no idea what other books look like, then you'll basically be trying to invent the modern novel from scratch. ...


6

Short answer: Possibly, are you a genius with lots of time? Long answer: I guess you could ask the same question about any field. Can I be a good painter without looking at other paintings? Can I be a good carpenter without looking at other cabinets? Can I be a good architect without looking at other buildings. (Fyi: I refuse to enter the building of an ...


6

The examples of Paolini and Rowling are not useful as blueprint for a different reason than that stated in the comments: they are exceptions. Overwhelming success is rare, not the rule. It happens to a small percentage of published works only, and you cannot plan it. What you can plan, though, is a more moderate, general success. And this depends largely on ...


6

I think it is not necessary to read about writing thrillers to write them. Insted, I'd read thrillers directly, so you can see how they're written. However, you can also check these links with some advices: http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Thriller-Novel http://www.creative-writing-now.com/how-to-write-a-thriller.html ...


6

For a moment abandon the crew of your story and have a peek at your readers. Well, before that prune endings that are too expectable, out of characters or otherwise faulty, but once you come with the decent set... Which ending would be most satisfying? Which would elicit most of the emotions which you want to create? Instead of thinking within the story ...


6

The problem I see with writing (and drawing) is that people believe that they should be able to do it without any training. We all learn to write in school, we all can compose a coherent narrative, for example in a letter to our grandparents or a "what I did during the summer holidays" essay for school, and we all have been drawing since we were able to hold ...


5

You can publish them yourself. If you do that, you retain all of the rights to the stories and the book. That way, nobody can get the rights to the book and throw them away. To publish an ebook, you can make an epub file and distribute it through Kindle, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Nook, Smashwords, and other places. They won't steal it. They want to sell it for ...


5

Yes. When an editor rejects a story, you can revise it and submit it somewhere else. You can also submit it to another editor without revising it. Editors are human, and have individual tastes. And their slush readers are humans with individual tastes. One editor or reader may hate a story, and another love it. Further, editors tastes differ from yours, ...


4

Publishers are always looking for a reason to reject submissions, because it is easy to reject (takes a few seconds), and much more work to accept. I was once on an elevator with an editor and the elevator got stuck. The editor got out his phone and said "I can use this time to reject some submissions." The trick is to know the editor and what they usually ...


3

You can be a good storyteller. I'm like you. I rarely read for fun, but watched a LOT of movies and played a lot of video games (The first Half-Life game and the first Starcraft game means more to me than any novel I have ever read). I also imagined that I wanted to write books. But what I really wanted to do was to tell stories and to be creative. I ...


3

I understand where you're coming from. Free time is a precious resource, especially as an adult. There's only so much to go around, however this may be a case of what you're reading rather than how much you read. In other words, reading higher quality writing less often is usually better than reading lower quality writing more often. I would start by ...


3

You identify two problems in your question. One is "how can I effectively develop topics out of thin air without research, or spending hours before actually writing?" This is a "what to write about" question, which is not on-topic for Writers. (Plus, there's no such thing as "developing topics without research." You may have done the "research" by reading ...


3

I've found the best solution to improving creative productivity is to practice self-discipline. Discipline is also a skill, so it will take time to find a routine that works for you. Find an hour or so in which you believe you're the most productive and set it aside exclusively for writing, eliminate any distractions or commitments. Every day, go to your ...


2

Learning to write any genre of fiction is mostly the same set of skills - character exposition, scene setting, pacing, and so on. Start with the general and then move on to the specifics would be my suggestion. I don't follow the thriller genre much, but in my chosen genre (science fiction) there are a lot of popular authors who write blogs where they ...


2

I think your main problem may be that you're sitting down to write without the following: A PURPOSE Quite often, for an article, you're simply looking for an "angle". Angles don't just spontaneously come to us. We "look" for them. When I'm assigned to write about something particular, I research it, and I try to find an angle within the actual subject. I ...


2

Your question seems to be primarily about how to integrate plot and characterization. This is an issue I've been working hard on in my recent writing, so I'm going to make an unearthly effort to keep this answer short and to the point. My writing philosophy is this: every character is a question that needs answering. Every character starts the story with a ...


2

Of course you can! I think it is a myth that you need to read a lot to be a good writer. I have never seen a scientific study that supported that claim. Do you need to watch a lot of sports to be a good sportsman? Do you need to listen to a lot of music to be a good singer? No. It will certainly help in your understanding of a craft to witness a master at ...


2

I will somewhat disagree with the other answers by agreeing with "what" 's answer. "Do you need to watch a lot of sports to be a good sportsman? " In short, writing is about writing and reading is about reading. One activity is doing the other is being, it is acting versus contemplating. From everything I read; :) one becomes a better writer by ...


2

This seems like a very weird question to me. Why are you writing, exactly, if you don't like books? Do you think it's going to be a quick path to fame in lieu of an actual career? Because that's the feeling I'm getting from your question. On the other hand, if you've come to like books as an adult but you don't feel like you have the time to read, just ...


1

No. About 1% of people who read a lot are commercial-quality writers. That drops to 0% for people that do not read a lot. Invariably anyone that starts off asking, "Can I be a good writer if..." will never be a writer. Good writers know who they are. For them it is more a question of whether they can drag themselves out of their drunken stupor long enough ...


1

I can point you to a very good resource on hooks in songs, whether you are talking about lyric or musical hooks. The resource is the great (albeit older) book, The Craft of Lyric Writing, by Sheila Davis. The book is filled withe examples from real hits and other songs which have been produced by actual recording companies. The author touches upon the ...


1

There are many types of endings. The one your professor is referring to is just one kind. What I really want to know, though, is what he means by should? If should means it should be like that so the story is successful, then no. For a story to be successful it has to grip the reader. So the opening sentence has to be gripping. If by should he means it ...


1

The "without investing too much time" part could be a little problematic, depending on what you mean by that. In my experience (and contrary to what a lot of people believe), creativity is something you practice. That means two things: It is going to take some time to get good at. Maybe a lot of time. In this sense, there is no getting around the amount of ...


1

Your main problem/complaint seems to be that your thoughts don't automatically organize themselves. Take comfort. You are normal. Try the following (in order): 1) First, just get ideas down. I like to use FreeMind for this phase, and also a spiral-bound notebook that has no purpose except to jot down ideas. Note that "jotting down an idea" can run on ...


1

I think you're just worrying too much about the act of writing itself. Just have confidence in what you're doing, and sit down and enjoy yourself. Of course, you need strong fundamentals for that (sizable vocabulary, good grammar, and a knowledge of what you are writing about). If you're having trouble developing your creative skills, then I'd recommend ...



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