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Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Ramrod XTreme

Self-publishing is no substitute for therapy, friend.

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SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


Jalumibnkrayal posted:

Self-publishing is no substitute for therapy, friend.
I wanna emptyquote this forever. Also just because you can drive the car doesn't mean you can fix it, and while consuming media is a good first step it really is no substitute for actually writing. Imagine that argument applied to other stuff:

"I've looked at a whole lot of paintings and I really understand what makes a painting tick you know, so I'm gonna buy a whole lot of brushes and paint, slop 'em on a canvas, then it's going to be amazing and people are gonna pay me money for it."

"I want to be an Olympic runner, so I got a statue of Usain Bolt and I keep it on my nightstand. I've watched every single one of his races 50 times so now I'm ready to win a gold medal."

"I want to lose weight, so I watch a lot of TV with thin people in it while I'm eating my pizza dinner. One day, I'll be beautiful just like them."

Practice makes perfect. That's the dumb boring secret of writing.

Enrico Furby
Jun 28, 2003

by Hand Knit


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

I wanna emptyquote this forever. Also just because you can drive the car doesn't mean you can fix it, and while consuming media is a good first step it really is no substitute for actually writing. Imagine that argument applied to other stuff:

"I've looked at a whole lot of paintings and I really understand what makes a painting tick you know, so I'm gonna buy a whole lot of brushes and paint, slop 'em on a canvas, then it's going to be amazing and people are gonna pay me money for it."

"I want to be an Olympic runner, so I got a statue of Usain Bolt and I keep it on my nightstand. I've watched every single one of his races 50 times so now I'm ready to win a gold medal."

"I want to lose weight, so I watch a lot of TV with thin people in it while I'm eating my pizza dinner. One day, I'll be beautiful just like them."

Practice makes perfect. That's the dumb boring secret of writing.

I know. I have written on and off in various media since I was a child. Self-pubbing will function as practice and a revenue stream. I am trying to not make this entirely about me, is my point. There is no value in guessing whether I will succeed or not, but in discussing what creates success in this particular medium. Also, your first example is exactly what it takes to have the balls to paint every day until you are amazing and people pay you money for it, so it's not a great example. But otherwise, of course you're right!

Enrico Furby fucked around with this message at 01:08 on Nov 5, 2014

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Jesus loving christ, stop posting empty pretentious bullshit in this thread, you could have been done with your first story by now.

In happier news, my first two weeks of being a full-time writer have been ridiculously awesome. Just gotta keep this up and I'll be a millionaire by next year. Sean, I will catch up to you yet! :toot:

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


moana posted:

you could have been done with your first story by now.

I thought this same thing.

quote:

In happier news, my first two weeks of being a full-time writer have been ridiculously awesome. Just gotta keep this up and I'll be a millionaire by next year. Sean, I will catch up to you yet! :toot:

I don't doubt it dude, not for a minute. I'll give you a run for the money, though. ;)
Also you are smarter with investments while I just invest in sugar babies and expensive vacations.

EngineerSean fucked around with this message at 01:28 on Nov 5, 2014

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

this changes nothing, i am still dead inside

All Else Failed posted:

I know as an unmitigated fact I have what it takes if I put my mind to it. That will be the true struggle.
How do you know this? Look up subjective and objective, and then think about it again. There is a vast, vast gulf of difference between motivational self-belief and delusion. Yeah, confidence is great, but if you want to make a career of it, you need to be sure. How can you be sure that your subjective opinion is objective truth? Check with others. As many as you can.

Same point for all the following statements:

All Else Failed posted:

I am, however, extremely good at identifying what makes a good story and what doesn't, what makes good writing and what doesn't.

I am a ruthless critic with excellent taste because of this.

It will be easy for me to grasp, it is simply a matter of having even the slightest bit of willpower to get it done.
Understand that the guys in this thread are trying to point out that you need the confirmation of others about these statements, or you will end up being to self-pub what the guy on the corner who screams homophobic slurs at pigeons is to PR.

If you can't accept that you need to confirm if you are as good as you think you are, here's how I see your phase trajectory:

  • fiction thread
  • thunderdome
  • fyad intervenes
  • :iiam:
  • failed assassination attempt on Ronald McDonald

Enrico Furby
Jun 28, 2003

by Hand Knit


Bobby Deluxe posted:

you need the confirmation of others about these statements



You are right. That is why I will obtain that confirmation or denial from the consumer who dictates my level of success with his or her pocketbook. Pointless conjecture over, derail over, going back to lurking until I've actually accomplished something. I'll be more than happy to PM with anyone who feels compelled to further assist me in my travels. I am very happy to see this thread still exists and continually amazed at the generosity of some folks in rising the goontide so that it lifts all goonboats.

Bad Seafood
Dec 10, 2010

If you must blink, do it now.


All Else Failed posted:

You are right. That is why I will obtain that confirmation or denial from the consumer who dictates my level of success with his or her pocketbook.
Everyone here has already paid ten bucks to read your terrible posts, what more validation do you need?

Post a 500-word snippit in the fiction farm or someplace. I don't even care if it's an actual story, a vignette; let's see what you've got.

The Saddest Rhino
Apr 29, 2009

Behold my brain the golden throne of my consciousness. In here I am seated. Shackled. From here I police the land.



All Else Failed posted:

...my storytelling skills are absolute poo poo. I am, however, extremely good at identifying what makes a good story and what doesn't, what makes good writing and what doesn't. I am a ruthless critic with excellent taste because of this. It is organized conceptually in my head as a devourer of books, television, and movies (and music but it's different, more primal, which is what I love about it over the other three). Chances are I already know the main devices used conceptually without necessarily knowing their specialized lingo. Grammar and syntax have always come easily to me and bored the ever-living gently caress out of me. I have always cared much, much, much more about the visceral creativity and soul behind art. Part of this process, as I said previously, is going to be familiarizing myself with the boring structural details of vanilla storytelling. I never cared before, but I am finding myself wanting to care now if it will land me a career. It will be easy for me to grasp, it is simply a matter of having even the slightest bit of willpower to get it done.

My skills in charming beautiful women are absolute poo poo. I am, however, extremely good at identifying what makes a woman incredibly beautiful and desirable and what doesn't, what makes her sexy and what doesn't. I am a ruthless critic with excellent taste because of this. It is organised conceptually in my head as a devourer of various pornographies even your grandparents are disallowed from watching without parental supervision. Chances are I already know the main sexy feelings used conceptually without necessarily using women's specialised lingo. Saying sweet nothings and flirting have always come easily to me and bored the ever-living gently caress out of me. I have always cared much, much, much more about the visceral creativity and soul behind sex. Part of this process, as I said previously, is going to be familiarising myself with the boring structural details of Actually Having To Talk To A Girl. I never cared before, but I am finding myself wanting to care now if it it will land me a sweet lay. It will be easy for me to grasp (a breast), it is simply a matter of having even the slightest bit of my penis up to get it done.

E: I'm gifted baby bitches

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZB7yswo6a0

The Saddest Rhino fucked around with this message at 04:20 on Nov 5, 2014

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


The Saddest Rhino posted:

My skills in charming beautiful women are absolute poo poo. I am, however, extremely good at identifying what makes a woman incredibly beautiful and desirable and what doesn't, what makes her sexy and what doesn't. I am a ruthless critic with excellent taste because of this. It is organised conceptually in my head as a devourer of various pornographies even your grandparents are disallowed from watching without parental supervision. Chances are I already know the main sexy feelings used conceptually without necessarily using women's specialised lingo. Saying sweet nothings and flirting have always come easily to me and bored the ever-living gently caress out of me. I have always cared much, much, much more about the visceral creativity and soul behind sex. Part of this process, as I said previously, is going to be familiarising myself with the boring structural details of Actually Having To Talk To A Girl. I never cared before, but I am finding myself wanting to care now if it it will land me a sweet lay. It will be easy for me to grasp (a breast), it is simply a matter of having even the slightest bit of my penis up to get it done.

This is something I picked up on too and you put it way better than I could have. When I read "my storytelling skills are poo poo" I thought "well, I had awful grammar and pacing issues when I first started but I could at least tell an interesting story". Also I have lovely taste but I can write words on a page that people enjoy, I think that's ultimately more important.

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


moana posted:

In happier news, my first two weeks of being a full-time writer have been ridiculously awesome. Just gotta keep this up and I'll be a millionaire by next year. Sean, I will catch up to you yet! :toot:

Congratulations! :D

Hopefully I'll be joining you on the full-time train by the end of next year. We're paying down $4K-6K a month on my spouse's student loan, so I should have it killed by DEC2015 and be ready to quit my day job. :)


All Else Failed: Here's your roadmap:

#1 - Get the gently caress off the forum and get busy if you want this to be a money-making venture. You're wasting valuable writing time. :v:
(#1b - Consider seeing a psychiatrist. You don't sound well.)
#2 - Pick your genre.
#3 - Read the genre if you aren't familiar with it already.
#4 - Write something that is fun to read (the hard part).
#5 - Come back here and talk blurbs and covers.


Good luck! Now get to work. This is a job if you want to make money off of it. :)

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


In all honesty, you're not going to get off the forum, pick a genre, and start making GBS threads out great stuff.

What's going to happen is you're going to write an incredible first draft and you're going to be excited as hell. Bathe in that thrill.

Then you're going to get half-way through revisions, having hopefully taken the time to read a few books on writing, discover how you killed 10% of your manuscript, and how you completely hosed up the other 90%.

You're going to write a second book. That one's going to be good. Not great. You're still going to have to work at it. These people who are cheering you on to get to writing right away are seasoned pros. Your path sounds a lot like mine. If I had a dime for every goon who told me to get off the forum and write, I'd have more money than I've made from selling my books. Even if it was one goon.

However, I've learned a gently caress ton. I've learned that I am a really good story teller, I do have not so lovely ideas, and I've learned I suck horribly at keeping my story easy to read. You'll be horrified once you've written 10,000 words at how redundant you are, at how confusing your poo poo might be to somebody who doesn't know the story you're telling.

Or maybe you're a genius. It could happen. I am/was just like you. I'm working on my third book now. The first one is buried under a dead cat in a car graveyard. That was the one that was going to redefine the voice of a generation.

But, like you, I found a lot of encouragement in just talking about writing, asking questions and picking people's brains instead of writing. I think for some of us, that actually works. But to a lot of folks, it looks like procrastination mixed with delusions of genius. Which it also is.

If reading isn't your bag, subscribe to audible and force yourself to listen to some stuff. That's helped me a lot in figuring out a wide variety of ways to say "Shrugged", "nodded", and "held out hands in a gesture of surrender."

The ONE thing I'll tell you right now, above all else:
1. Stick with "Said." never loving ever say "She questioned." or She kidded, she joked, she lilted. Stick to said. So then, when you absoutely HAVE to use "she kidded" it means something.
2. Learn how to write from a single goddamn point of view per chapter. It puts your reader inside the character, they're more vested in what happens next.

Those are the two biggest mistakes I've seen make a story just a string of words nobody wants to read. The critical thing here, to me, is that you consider yourself a storyteller, not a writer. I am a storyteller. I am not a writer. I use words to describe a movie in my head. Other people use words to paint beautiful pictures and intense emotions, and all that literature stuff that people go to college for. The greatest writers do both. But if you have stories, focus on how to tell a good story.

And prepare to be crucified when you post your first writing sample on here. You've drawn too much attention to yourself to avoid it. Just brace yourself, and bask in the horror of it.

Don't give up. Unless you really suck.

magnificent7 fucked around with this message at 15:08 on Nov 5, 2014

Ghostwoods
May 9, 2013

Say "Cheese!"


Sundae posted:

(#1b - Consider seeing a psychiatrist. You don't sound well.)

... to be fair, he also sounds a lot like a 19-yr-old.

Ghostwoods fucked around with this message at 16:10 on Nov 5, 2014

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


Ghostwoods posted:

... to be fair, he also sounds a lot like a 19-yr-old.

:lol: Fair enough. The older I get, the less I remember those years. :)

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011




magnificent7 posted:

So then, when you absoutely HAVE to use "she kidded" it means something.


Don't ever write this.

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

with catte-like thread
upon our prey we steal


ravenkult posted:

Don't ever write this.

Five months after Juan and Lola's passionate reunion, she kidded. With eight new, tiny horns tearing through the upholstery, and sixteen tiny cloven hooves tracking mud across the carpet, life wasn't going to be easy. But for the first time since Juan's return from the Great Barnyard War, their little goat house finally felt like a goat home. THE END.

Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Ramrod XTreme

One star. Too short. Couldn't cum.

Roar
Jul 7, 2007

I got 30 points!

I GOT 30 POINTS!


Five stars. Came everywhere. I liked it almost as much as my own books, which you can find here.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


Roar posted:

Five stars. Came everywhere. I liked it almost as much as my own books, which you can find here.

Please forward me the details of your web designer I'm really interested in having a terrible web 1.0 website for myself.

e: I literally can't tell if it's a joke website or not.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Ugh, can't believe that post was so short. Thankfully it was free, otherwise it would have been a waste. Two stars but only because I liked the cute baby goats.

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

this changes nothing, i am still dead inside

Um, anachronistic much? Upholstery didn't come into common practice until 20 years AFTER the great barnyard war, dickslice. If I could rate it lower than 1 star I would. Do your loving research, amateur.

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

with catte-like thread
upon our prey we steal


Bobby Deluxe posted:

Um, anachronistic much? Upholstery didn't come into common practice until 20 years AFTER the great barnyard war, dickslice. If I could rate it lower than 1 star I would. Do your loving research, amateur.

Joke's on you; I didn't even take two seconds to Google the actual gestation period or average litter size for goats. And since my last post, my new bestseller "Goating Home" has jumped on track for a November Kindle Select All-Star $20k bonus!

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


PoshAlligator posted:

Please forward me the details of your web designer I'm really interested in having a terrible web 1.0 website for myself.

e: I literally can't tell if it's a joke website or not.

Doesn't look like a joke but that didn't stop me from laughing.

Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Ramrod XTreme

Assuming the KU borrows are reasonable, October was my first four figure month. Thanks to Sean, Moana, Sundae and the other regulars who help newbs like me. No joke: this is a life changing thread.

I just picked up that Let's Get Visible book and The Indie Author Power Pack. Reading through them now.

Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
^
|
<- IS LAME-O PHOBE ->
|
V


All Else Failed posted:

"I am great" is usually the number one indicator that someone sucks, and this is most true when it comes to writing because stringing words together is something everyone does. I in no way, shape, or form have an interest in proving to you that I have an innate talent for the written word and a vast amount of unlocked potential as a writer.

I know you don't know me, but it is vastly out of character for me to sound the way I do in this thread w/r/t an emphasis on business over creativity, so I am indeed keen on acknowledging what is working for authors that are selling -- my entire aim in the beginning is to exploit that. Deep down, though, I am of the opinion that the average mass media consumer is a loving moron with bad taste. This will work in my advantage for once since I have chosen to accept and exploit it.

If this is your normal voice, the first step to expressing this innate talent will be keeping it out of your work. "I have a talent for the written word," is something a pretentious character in a book would say, and even then the reader would find the line cheesy and overwrought.

I'm not saying don't try to write. But I am saying you need to look at how people actually write and what people are actually reading right now if you want to do well.

Write more like you speak. And if you speak like that, I'm sorry.

Mr. Belding fucked around with this message at 04:14 on Nov 6, 2014

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Jalumibnkrayal posted:

Assuming the KU borrows are reasonable, October was my first four figure month. Thanks to Sean, Moana, Sundae and the other regulars who help newbs like me. No joke: this is a life changing thread.
Awwwwwwwwwwwww yeah! Congrats! October is my first ever top 50 bestseller, let's get drunk together and celebrate! :cheers:

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Sounds like October was a good month for all of us. I broke my sixteen month long rank record and then broke it again a couple days later with another book (albeit with a 99 cent Bookbub promotion), so yeah, great month.

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

this changes nothing, i am still dead inside

You guys are all an inspiration to keep going. Between this thread and the subreddit, it actually feels possible to make a living from writing if I throw myself at it completely.

Every time the thread comes back round to bragging I end up having a good day and getting a ton of writing done.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



On the scifi side October has been pretty decent. My first novel has been out for a year and the entire trilogy still brings in almost a grand a month. I noticed when KU came about that my rankings all perked up, it was a definite shot in the arm for my sales. I'm hoping to get one more novel out by the end of the year and finally crack that elusive top 1000 rank.

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


Congratulations, Jalumibnkrayal. :)

psychopomp
Jan 27, 2011


My October sales for my main pen-name are up almost double what they have been, and I'm getting a steady trickle of mailing list subscribers. This isn't as much as it sounds like; I made a lot of pen-names when I was starting out, one per genre, and I've basically ignored them this year, so their income has dropped tremendously.

Roar
Jul 7, 2007

I got 30 points!

I GOT 30 POINTS!


I hate all of your successes.

I mean, I'm glad you guys are doing great and I have no one to blame but myself for dropping 66%ish of my sales, but I cannot deny the cold, green fingers of jealousy gripped around my neck.

On the plus side, October finally beat previous month sales so I've got that going for me.

DukeRustfield
Aug 6, 2004


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

There is no such thing as an "innately gifted writer", there's writers who have practiced and writers who haven't.

I was in for a dental cleaning and my hygienist asked what I did for a living and I said writer. And she asked, screenwriter, tv, poet (I'm in LA)? And I said, novelist. She said she always respected writers because "it wasn't a skill she had herself." And to this lady about to stick sharp metal in my mouth, I said, "bullshit. Anyone can write. It's practice, just like any human endeavor." And she said, "well, some can just write better than others." I thought a moment and conceded, "I think some people can just daydream more than others."

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

this changes nothing, i am still dead inside

As someone who spent 3 years at university studying creative writing, I would say that there were some people to whom writing does comes easier. There were others who had to work at it, and eventually became good by listening to advice and practising over and over. And unfortunately there was a third group who - even after three years of literally being paid to write, were still poo poo.

I would say that the defining feature of this third group was that they thought their ideas were brilliant and that the criticism they were getting was because the lecturers / agents / publishing industry didn't 'get' them.

It's my opinion that writing requires a weird balance of believing in your own ideas (otherwise they dry up and you quit), but accepting that you need to verify if they're actually good with an impartial third party.

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

with catte-like thread
upon our prey we steal


I'm a big subscriber to the (iirc) Stephen King theory that everyone starts with a basic, innate amount of talent for writing, and through hard work, everyone can basically move up one tier.

If you're naturally a good writer, you can work hard and one day become a great writer. If you're okay, you can aspire to become good. And if you suck, you might be able to work your way up to okay.

But moving up two tiers (say, lovely to good, or okay to great)... well, that's going to require more than just hard work, and might not be possible at all.

I can't be alone here in thinking that innate talent plays at least a teensy weensy part in ultimate writing potential?

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


I think it's less innate talent than we might think, and more "innate love of reading" which leads to talent. From teaching the SAT I really do think that most of the basic writing skills just comes from reading a lot. Kids who don't read can't write.

And I love Duke's idea of daydreaming - I daydreamed stories up forever when I was a kid. There's a difference between being a good storyteller and a good writer. You certainly can be one without the other and you certainly can level up both abilities with hard work, but there's probably a small amount of innate talent that sets you on the ground running.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


Some people can just learn better than others.

Ironically (?) learning also has to be learned.

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011




Honestly, there has to be something that explains how a lot of people can keep writing and reading, yet continuing to suck at writing forever. Is it just because they have no self reflection or they don't listen to feedback or what, 'cause that poo poo's spooky.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


I think some people really want to get better and some people want to do their own thing forever, and godspeed to that second kind of people because if everybody was good at writing I'd have a harder time making a living at it.

I taught a workshop on romance writing where I had everyone pitch their story in one sentence. One guy had this awful idea that everybody tried to talk him out of, but he wouldn't budge, not when he had two dozen women tell him his hero was unlikeable. And this is a guy who hadn't written a single page yet, completely stuck to his horrible idea about a lawyer guy who did home renovation and ended up fixing some girl's flat on the side of the road and she totally fell for him for no reason (I'm guessing he was butthurt because it was obviously self-insertion fantasies). It's much easier to pretend your awesome ideas are all perfect than it is to a) put them out there for criticism and b) listen to that criticism.

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Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

These dentures won't stop me from tearing out jugulars in Thunderdome.





Reading is definitely part of it, too. A lot of the people who never seem to improve also don't read much, or don't read outside of a very narrow range.

There are also some people that just can't handle challenging their own preconceived notions. I mean there are still people that legitimately believe the earth is flat or that global warming isn't a thing. They just plug their ears and keep goin' regardless of what anyone else says. I imagine the same thing is pretty common with art, maybe moreso because it's something you create yourself, which means some people take criticism of it very personally. I think it takes a certain level of maturity to have someone tell you something you made sucks and to absorb the constructive elements of that criticism.

Then of course it depends how serious someone is about writing, too. If a person never wants it to be more than a hobby, there's less impetus to improve. It's like the dude who buys a guitar and never learns more than enough chords required to get into somebody's pants. A person who wants to make a living out of writing or who considers it part of their identity is going to be more motivated to strive for improvement.

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