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momac

If you were going to write a book what would it be?

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If you thought you might like to write a book what would you write about?  Would it be fiction, fantasy, horror, crime, biography or......?   If you were to write a mystery or crime story do you think you could climb inside the mind of a criminal?  Or a fantasy, do you think you might have the imagination to come up with a fantasy plot.  Would you just start writing or would you plan out a 'story board' - I think that's what they are called?  I listened to an interview of Lee Child and he said he just started in on writing and it seemed as though the story just flowed along.  Would you have the patience to produce a book?  We all read many, many books but do we have a book within each of us?  I fancy the beginning "it was a dark and stormy night" :) but then that is used in a humorous way now, I think I even read it in a Peanuts comic strip.  How about it people, any budding authors (or established authors in our ranks)?

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I have a had a story in my head for years but never bothered to write it down, title: forbidden love, teenage girl and her teacher start a relationship, first half told from his perspective you start off feeling sorry for him, as he tells of being hounded by a young girl with an obvious crush on him but as things progress you realise he isn't as genuine and "nice" as he is making out and as the story continues you start to question what he is really like, the second half is the young girls point of view of the relationship and she doesn't exactly come out of it smelling of roses either with a twist at the end as to why they are telling their story.

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I've thought about it a few times over the years.

 

There are certainly intriguing events in the family histories of Mr meg and myself that could be the starting point for a couple of novels, but whenever I've thought of actually putting them into words I've realised that I just don't have it in me.

I could possibly write something, but not anything I'd want to read myself - that's been obvious each time I've started to think of actual opening lines.

And, I'm too lazy to do the research into historical settings.

 

Some years ago Mr meg picked up, discarded in the village, a book by a local woman (published by the discredited vanity publisher 'Serendipity'). Occasionally I think of throwing it out, but keep it as a dire warning in case I ever contemplate authorship.

 

 

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Fantasy set (inevitably) in pre-industrial times, with magic, non-human races, which considers the contention between hereditary rule and democratic representation (you don't find many high fantasy novels with elected parliaments in my experience), and what limits a society would place on the use of magic to stop those able from becoming despots.

 

I've also had an idea with a similar initial premise to Apple's floating around since I was a teenager, but since I was one of those teenagers that very much knew their own mind, I'd tell the story of one that refused to be labelled a victim by the groupthink of social services, the police, CPS and their political masters, none of whom seem able to accept that the ability to make decisions is not formed overnight on one's 16th (or 18th) birthday.  That one was inspired by the actions of one Mrs Victoria Gillick, who fought a legal battle through the courts while I was a teenager.

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I have 3 or 4 in my mind waiting for me to have the time or develop talent.

The most abstract of my ideas is a story about a killer and their victim that both end up dead as a result of the crime. Their story is then told through the memories of others that are still alive. This is a quasi-afterlife, where each character is present in the memory, with the knowledge that they are dead. The victim, who was a decent person endures through fond memories, while the murderer is torured by having his crimes replayed to him over and over again by his various victims.

 

It's a bit of a mind bender, and would be very difficult to write, but I'm fond of it as an idea.

Edited by Krey20

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There are certainly intriguing events in the family histories of Mr meg and myself that could be the starting point for a couple of novels, but whenever I've thought of actually putting them into words I've realised that I just don't have it in me.

 

One of the great problems about using your own family/life as a kick off for a novel is distancing yourself enough from what happened so that you let real life be merely the inspiration rather than a straight jacket of "it happened like that so that's the way the story goes.'  And of course there's the danger that no-one on the family will ever speak to you again...   That said I'm taking my life in my hands and doing some research about the sixties and seventies (it's amazing how much you forget even when you've actually been through it) and tryiing my hardest to make my own family stay in the background and not dominate the plot which is hard as they behaved outrageously - in good and bad ways, and some like my kleptomaniac health-nut Aunt who refused to sleep in sheets, pinched my father's Y fronts and wrote books about long dead racehorses were so extreme that you'd be accused of going over the top if you tried to reproduce them exactly on the printed page.

 

Also it's not just a question of finding a plot you reckon you can write about, you've got to find your voice as well.  Like many wannabe writers I tried to write Mills and Boon - I nearly got there, had an editor working with me but in the end I couldn't match my style to what they wanted, I used too many long words, was too light hearted ("Romantic heros aren't supposed to be funny, Victoria.") and in the end I realised that since I didn't read that type of book for pleasure I couldn't enter completely into that world - though I did enjoy writing them, funnily enough, and started to write what I enjoy reading.

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Great answers, hope someone does write a book, I'm sure it would be a good feeling of accomplishment.  I don't think I'd be able to do it as I don't think I have the patience (or the necessary skill) to write a book.  I have taken creative writing courses and we had to write short stories and I enjoyed that but the writing took place in a required setting where we had to produce something to read to the class.  After the current course ended I didn't write anything at all until I signed up for another course so it's almost as if I need a school setting to write anything plus I don't think I have the imagination.   :(

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  I have taken creative writing courses and we had to write short stories and I enjoyed that but the writing took place in a required setting where we had to produce something to read to the class.  After the current course ended I didn't write anything at all until I signed up for another course so it's almost as if I need a school setting to write anything plus I don't think I have the imagination.   :(

Creative writing courses have tempted me, but I'm too much of a coward to expose my feeble attempts to the scrutiny of others so have never taken the plunge.

And I, too, suspect that I haven't the imagination . It would feel like an exam, and my mind would go completely blank!

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 I have taken creative writing courses and we had to write short stories and I enjoyed that but the writing took place in a required setting where we had to produce something to read to the class.  After the current course ended I didn't write anything at all until I signed up for another course so it's almost as if I need a school setting to write anything plus I don't think I have the imagination.   :(

I've been tempted by Creative Writing courses, but would be too scared to expose my attempts to the scrutiny of others. That's if I actually produced something - I'm more likely to sit in front of a blank piece of paper with nothing in my head.

Like you, I suspect that I don't have the imagination, so have never taken the plunge.

 

 

 

Viccie, the incidents I have in mind happened  a couple of generations ago so they would just be 'jumping off points'. I have no real details, "and besides the wench is dead", so nothing could be recognised by current family members.

Trouble is, I have no idea which direction to jump in, or where to land :unsure:

Nor any aptitude for writing.

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Meg, the creative writing courses were fun and it was amazing to hear other people's written work.  The classes were quite a mixture of men and women of varying ages and it was very entertaining to be invited into the world of someone you didn't know - no two people seemed to produce anything remotely similar and sometimes we would be given a 'story starter' and we had to continue on and flesh it out.  The teacher was a professor at the local university in their Continuing Education department and she was excellent and supportive of everyone's attempts.  I would certainly take a class with her again, however, the distance would be a problem as I don't drive any more and h would be obliged to wait around for me if he drove me to the class.  So if I wanted to do any writing it would be up to me to apply myself and just do it, however, reading books is so much easier and, I would suspect, more rewarding. :lol:

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The most abstract of my ideas is a story about a killer and their victim that both end up dead as a result of the crime....The victim, who was a decent person endures through fond memories, while the murderer is torured by having his crimes replayed to him over and over again by his various victims.

This is a very intriguing idea!

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I tried to write a novel once but never finished it.  It was a murder mystery.  My jump off point was the characters.  Wrote mini-biogs for all of them so that I knew them really well before I tried to make them work together.  Was ok for about six chapters but I dropped the idea and never picked it up again.

 

I have been a member of a small group of would-be writers for a few years now.  Started at the local college and then we went off on our own when the classes were dropped (lack of govenment funding!!).  I have also attended local university creative writing classes and have to admit enjoyed them.  As you say momac, it is surprising how many different variations on a theme you can get in a group.  Like you I feel I need the stimulation of others to make me write anything now.  Our tiny group is slowly breaking up and my need to write is following suit.

 

The only other major piece of writing I have attempted in my life history.

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If you thought you might like to write a book what would you write about? 

 

Momac, you come up with some super 'thinks'. Well done.

I love writing short stories. Does that count? The one in my head right now began with a real incident.  I was walking to work and a man ahead of me was talking on his cellphone.  He was quite agitated.  I heard him say: "Just stay where you are. Don't do anything 'til I get there. Stay in the house."  Then he went one way and I went the other, thinking to myself: "He steps into the road and gets run over." End of story.  Mind you, I expect it's been done before. If not, it's my copyright!!!!! ;)

Then, there's the longer story about the two men who ... I was staying with my mother in a wee Scottish village one winter.  Her kitchen window looked out over a bit of scraggly woodland, and a sharp bend in a small country road.  One night I went to the kitchen for something, not bothering to turn on the light.  A car drove around the bend and in its headlights I saw two vehicles parked in the woodland, and two men talking.  I stayed by the window watching for ten minutes or so.  Snow started to fall, and still the men talked.  It was a really, really cold night.  That's a story that's maturing. :unsure:

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I feel I need the stimulation of others to make me write anything now. 

Yeah, that's the situation I'm in right now Barblue.  I spend my professional life creating characters and storylines for message-driven radio soaps.  I need Zambian talent for the traditional input that provides credibility, as well as 'experts' to steer us into the required 'messages' - which we tend to forget!  So a writing team of four or five is the order of my creative day.  Which is why I haven't written anything original for quite a while now.

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I've written part of a children's book (when I was a child / teenager), about a boy who's not so good at schoolwork (primary school) and who is bullied because of it.

 

I've had plans to write a novel for adults but I've never got around to writing a lot for it (though I did write some parts of it.). First it was going to be a fictional story (contemporary fiction) based on my life and disability, but adding things or removing things (so just based on it). Then it was going to be a non-fiction autobiography of a kind, mainly focussed about my disability and how life is for me.

 

I don't know if I'll ever write a book or not.. I think it would be nice and I plan on doing more writing, but we'll have to see what happens. I do know I have a bit of a talent for writing, or so people have told me all my life. I don't know if I'd have the patience for writing a book, though. A big part of writing is rewriting, reading the same pages over and over again and adjusting little details. I used to have more patience when I was younger, compared with these days. But we'll have to see, I might try at least.

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I'd write horror - a truly frightening horror but I won't because I can't write and have very little imagination that's why I let others do the work for me and digest books, comics, films, and good TV at a horrific rate!

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This is a very intriguing idea!

 

Thanks... you never know this might be the little pebbles that start the landslide.

I have finished a manuscript, I even got a few relatively impartial, people to read it for me. Their reactions were encouraging so I began submitting it to a few agents etc, without success, of course, but I am glad I've gone through the experience of the whole process at least once, without the outcome I might have wanted, admittedly. But I have hunkered down, got the first draft out, left it alone, re-read it, revised and revised and eventually let others read it. I know I have it in me to complete a novel, so i believe I'd be able to do it again, hopefully better.

 

It all comes down to that old chestnut of making time. At the moment I simply have to prioritise things above writing, but the time will come.

 

Another idea I have is a series of short stories about a steam powered automaton that is possesed by the soul of a human and his mouse sidekick that is possessed by the soul of a demon, they are intrincically linked. It's set in Victorian London and they solve spiritual and paranoral mysteries as part of the British Occult Secret Service.

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I daydream of writing fairly detailed descriptions/events based on so many interesting people I have known or met, but have never figured out how to tie them all together, not necessarily in any plot, but in some location or situation. Flats, hotels, islands etc. all done before, need to figure out somewhere different but convincing. It is never meant to be dramatic, more of the H E Bates style of gentle tale.

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It all comes down to that old chestnut of making time. At the moment I simply have to prioritise things above writing, but the time will come.

 

 

 

Make time!  Unless you're holding down two jobs, looking after three toddlers, a demanding parent, whipping up nourishing meals for everyone,  and doing an Open Univeristy course you can always find a few minutes to write every day.  Take it from the mistress of excuses about why she didn't manage to put finger to keyboard that day.  Give up browsing BGO for a start... no that's going too far.

 

Providing you do it regularly even a few minutes writing every day rapidly builds into something, try aiming for a page or even half a page a day, it doesn't taake long - within a month you'll have the beginnings of a book, within six months you'll be half way through and to paraphrase Dorothea Brand if you exercise your writing muscle it'll get stronger and stronger and easier and easier.

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All excellent advice Viccie...

And I plan to employ it as and when i feel I can.

I manage to hit about two thirds of your list after the word 'Unless...' but I don't make excuses. I managed to stick to a good writing schedule to complete my first manuscript. It became a habit. It's just a case of getting back into the habit.

 

I've decided not to beat myself up about it for now. I'm enjoying watching my baby daughter grow for a bit. I'm at work far too much as it is and feel as though I miss too much. To add writing to the list of reasons to be away from her borders upon being masochistic.

 

I would love to get back into the habit of writing, it's enjoyable and challenging but I simply have things I'd rather be doing instead for now. Still, it doesn't stop me from storing up ideas. The ideas never stop, and as each one is formed in my mind, they stay perfect and intangilble, before I ruin them by trying to realise them.

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I've decided not to beat myself up about it for now. I'm enjoying watching my baby daughter grow for a bit. I'm at work far too much as it is and feel as though I miss too much.

Perhaps start with making up little stories to tell Delilah, and write them down to read with her as she gets older? That will keep the writing habit going.

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Krey,

 

Speaking as a daughter myself, I'd just like to say that there can't be anything better than watching your baby daughter grow. She'll appreciate that when she's older (I know I still do) and I also know that it takes me by shocking surprise as to how fast the wee people grow.

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Thanks Meg & Luna,

I must admit, I have been writing here and there, but it has been more personal than creative. Any snippets of time I have I try to devote to recording thoughts, feelings and events in an informal diary. It's all about recording this time in my young family's life so we have something concrete to look back on. Unfortunately, I lost my father too early, and always wish I had something of his like a diary that gave me a better understanding of who he was as a person, instead of simply a father.

 

Like I said, it's all about priorties, and I think I have mine straight at the moment.

I do like the idea of making up a few little stories just for her though.

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Perhaps start with making up little stories to tell Delilah, and write them down to read with her as she gets older? That will keep the writing habit going.

Gosh! That reminds me of the time, many many years ago when I wrote little stories, about little people, for my nephew who lived on another continent.  A few years ago those same stories were returned to me, and I was astonished at my creativity as a young adult.  Where did all that creativity go? Maybe it comes back in one's senior years ... so don't anyone lose hope!

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