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I'm writing a novel
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You are currently reading a thread in /lit/ - Literature

Thread replies: 44
Thread images: 2
Any tips?
>>
Don't write for plot

[spoilers]:^)[/spoilers]
>>
Qué?
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do it for the kids
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I finished mine last week. It's tough and there's no easy way to do it. Good luck, anon.
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>>7630211
How many words?
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>>7630224
50k
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>>7630226
So you mean a short story and not an actual novel, right?
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>>7630172
only write if you have something to say, or alternatively if your prose is transcendental
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>>7630211
And thanks!
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>>7630238
I do have many things to say. It's mainly about war and deceit.
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>>7630245
can you post the opening paragraph?
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>>7630224
80k.
I'm not >>7630226. 50k is a novella though.
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>>7630238
>only write if you have something to say
I hate this saying so much, it is only used by fucking hack film directors
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>>7630252
80k is barely more than paradise lost
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>>7630252
(OP)

Most publishers seem to consider 80K the minimum for a novel.
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>>7630250
Sure, but it's the very first draft.

'Wisps of smoke rose from the fire in the middle of the room. Uther gazed into the flames, thoughts racing in his head. What would he do? Retaliate? When? How could he make sure his children were safe?'
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For fuck's sake, how do I describe things so they won't be so boring?
I'd really like to open with a geographical description of the area but I don't think I'm talented enough to even try to pull it off.
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>Try to write witty and interesting Dialogue
>Comes out cringy
Funnily enough, my two favorite authors (Tolstoy and Dostoevsky) write so straightforwardly
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>>7630277

The key is to have a non-boring setting to write about.
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>>7630297
I don't think the bay area is boring at all, I just can't do it justice
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>>7630299

Wait, was that your description? It's good, it's not boring, I assumed it was from a Don DiLillo novel.
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>>7630305
holy shit really? I needed that motivation, thanks anon
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>>7630305

*DeLillo
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>>7630308

Glad to be of encouragement!
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>>7630277
Don't. No one likes description anymore. At least I didn't two years ago when I read a novel that had it in it.
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Description is fine, as long as you don't go overboard. I'd remove hyphae myself, I've not come across the term before. The rest is fine depending on how important this geography is.
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>>7630365
Can you think of any better way to describe that? Like all the little stringy root-like things that grow off of some fungi when they cling to logs
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>>7630367
I don't know how important your bodily metaphors are, but I would have written it using only the word "spidery". That's just me though.
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>>7630367

Keep it, literature often requires people look stuff up. The context makes it clear what hyphae are.
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>>7630384
If you do keep it, I'd recommend a footnote at the bottom of the page.
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>>7630387

No, he really shouldn't. He must trust the reader to be a serious person.
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>>7630387
That seems really unnecessary
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>>7630399
I have footnotes. There are a few 'sentences' (usually a few words only) in ancient languages in my novel for example.
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>>7630408
I personally try to keep my pages as neat and clean as possible, even down to using minimal punctuation (t-totally not copying mccarthy, i-i swear) so footnotes don't exact sit well with the rest of what I tend to have. It seems especially weird to put one on the very first page of the book.
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>>7630269

it's not HORRIBLE writing, but it is lackluster for an opening.

> Wisps of smoke rose from the fire in the middle of the room

this is fine, but why start with a banal description of smoke? this is generally a cliche of second rate fantasy. Try something more profound. look at the starting sentences of some of your favorite literary novels. Be it tolstoy, mishima, early joyce (Ulysses probably isn't applicable to your accessible novel, since it's too auteur to really provide inspiration for a straightforward novel project), dostoevsky, kafka, etc. There's a lot more you can do than set a scene.

> Uther gazed into the flames

fine

> thoughts racing in his head.

cliche. I would even just change it to "Uther gazed into the flames, thinking." carries the same connotation, without the "racing" as if he were in the middle of combat or w/e. Besides, "thoughts racing" is extremely cliche. If you just want to describe what he's doing, say he's just thinking. Or think of an interesting way of saying it. don't go into the cliche cabinet and grab the closest saltshaker.

> What would he do? Retaliate? When? How could he make sure his children were safe?'

fine, but already the novel is moving at too breakneck of a pace. Slow it down a bit. This would work for a short story, but I think it's not good for a novel to do this except when it needs to.
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>>7630443
>See the bronchi
>t-totally not copying mccarthy, i-i swear
[spits gnostically]
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>>7630482
[rides on]
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>>7630477
First draft, as I said.
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>>7630509

reads like it, is all I'm saying. just because it's a first draft doesn't mean you should ignore what I said though.
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>>7630521
I didn't say I'd ignore what you said, but I'm saying I'm not at my best with that. I'm more focused on trying to get the whole thing finished (it's colossally long and I'm only ~30,000 words in) rather than trying to make it any better than it is. I'd even call it; as it stands now, shit.

I have taken your comments into consideration.
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>>7630305
>>7630384
Here's an updated version that includes the next paragraph if you're interested
>>7630529
Were the changes for the better?
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Write two and publish the one you like better.
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>>7631642

this is actually really good advice
Thread replies: 44
Thread images: 2
Thread DB ID: 472151



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