You want to write a story about xyz?

A supportive board for writers at all levels to discuss writing topics, debate burning issues related to publishing, To publicise your novel. And to seek support of every kind in helping you to become a better writer.
Batman
Posts: 601
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2022 7:23 am
Contact:

Post by Batman »

I see many people asking for help because they want to write a story about xyz which they openly admit they know nothing about. Why?

As a writer I admit I write about a variety of different things some of which I know more about than others. (I research where necessary) When it comes to otherkin stories the bottom line is they are people and being a person means I at least have a starting point.

I understand the seductive nature of the vampyre and the burning hunger of the werewolf and so on. Don't get me wrong I, like many writers, cross genres to push their own boundaries, hone their literary skills etc. What I find hard to understand is why, when you have never written anything you would want to start with something/a genre you know absolutely nothing about.

I have some useful things for you.. Look at this index:
Exhausting writing
Some questions regarding the nature of the market for the first book
What keeps you consistent?
How Does One Write to Avoid the Types of Time and Culture Bound Problems?
Best book you've ever read?
What message would you give your younger self?
A freelance writer [stuck]
Opinions of any kind are welcome
How I Can Better Represent Different Races And People
What advice could you give to someone writing fantasy?
The Best App for Writing Books
Sallie

Post by Sallie »

Writing isn't easy. Putting your thoughts or ideas on paper is a challenge. Unfortunately, some people want success without hard work. They seem to think that they can "sponge off" of other peoples writings and go from there. The best piece of advice I ever received was from a well known author when she told me to write what I knew about. Doing that, she said, would allow my passion to come alive. I stopped writing after college and lived a very busy life and have now started again in fan fiction. What I don't know I research. When I don't know how to phrase something, I ask. I don't plagiarize.
Juliet

Post by Juliet »

Because my character spoke to me as a young woman in the old West after the civil war. She is dealing with issues that I know in my own life, i.e. depression, loss, abuse and addiction. So her struggles are familiar but I began knowing almost nothing about this period in history, so I have been researching and researching. Idk why this is the era, but it is how I see my main character.
Shannon

Post by Shannon »

It is because writing is discovery. When we write what we don’t already know, the language of exploration and understanding is clearer, fresher, more interesting. Personally I avoid writing what I know about as much as possible. Discovery is part of creativity. Writing what we already know very often leads to flat prose and uninteresting stories. Many writers myself included find the magic and mystery of the art happens only when you’re approaching the unknown.
Anne

Post by Anne »

Maybe, it excites them, to embark on an unknown territory, as a beginner. Researching into new areas, is a very exciting part of writing!
Dan

Post by Dan »

I do laugh to myself at the posts that say "I want to write a book, can someone tell me how". I guess ignorance is bliss! Or they might be just bloody lucky and write a book in a year, have it edited, accepted by an agent, get a 3 book deal and become a best-seller. But, it's rare to non-existent!
Keith

Post by Keith »

It's often said, "Write what you know." To which I added the rider, "But if (like me) you know nothing then write fantasy."

OK, that's a bit glib. I think, even with fantasy, you need to understand the conventions of the genre and your target audience's expectations so, at the very least, you know when and why you are breaking them. Your constructed world also needs to be consistent within itself.

Yes, you can research but it's a lot easier and safer to stick with what you know. A good friend of mine started writing a thriller set in New York. His mentor asked, "Have you ever been to New York?"

"No."

"Then why set a book there? You're going to make mistakes."

He took the advice and now has a highly successful series of thrillers based on a private eye whose office is in... London."
John

Post by John »

Bottom line it takes a lot more work learning how to write and learning what you need in order to master your material than most people want to think. People shouldn’t be asking so many questions about how to do it and just start trying stuff, experimenting. There are formulas you can follow, but they are for producing junk, not great writing.
Brian

Post by Brian »

Basically, I am a Vicky Pollard: I know nothing about nothing. If I were to write only what I know then I’d be stuck at the first word. Likely “The”. (Which I often am). When I think about it, what often motivates me to write is an idea I’m fascinated with but know diddly squat about. My choices are to avoid it, read up on it, or lie. Avoiding it might be a mistake. A great big lie might just make for a fascinating, funny, creative, read. Depending on how it is presented. And as far as reading up on an idea, that is something I find myself continually doing. I do agree though. If one is a beginning writer, it is likely wise to start with at least a kernel of prior knowledge.
Catherine

Post by Catherine »

I write sci fi and like all sci fi writers I've never been off the planet, let alone to a different galaxy where my stories are set. All writers call on their own personal experiences when putting their characters in situations. Even with aliens. If we didn't, sci fi writers would be writing a books nobody could read or understand.
Rachel

Post by Rachel »

Because the discovery of new things can be amazing for your inspiration and creative thinking! I often start a play and think I'm not 100% sure of how something could be because of when it set or what I'm writing about, so I research and the discovery of new things, brings out more of a passion for what I'm writing, at least it does for me.
Andy

Post by Andy »

There is nothing at all wrong with being a 'dreamer.'

Most of the great artists were and are.

Writing needs dreamers.

However, for success (whatever shape success is for any individual) you need that married together with talent, skill, knowledge and a good team around you.

If you don't have these other important elements all that will remain are the dreams.
Jason

Post by Jason »

How many posts have we've seen lately that read something like "HI, I'm new to the group and want to write a superhero werewolf novel- how do I do it?" It's like coming to the table with a fork in your hand, but you forgot to make dinner. Writing is never easy, but they expect us to hand over hard earned knowledge so they don't have to do the work. As if Writing is just a cup of noodles that you can just pop in the microwave.
Sharon

Post by Sharon »

Exactly! The books I'm writing are set 50 thousand years ago. I did seven years of research learning what I could about this time period on top of the time I've spent learning to write. If you really want to write a book, delve into the topic and write it. Asking others to do that for you seems to indicate you don't really want to write the book.
LuWanda

Post by LuWanda »

I think that way too many beginning writers think that writing a book is a quick way to get rich. They don’t realize how few actually earn a living writing. Many have never even read a book in the genre they have chosen. It’s sad. It’s delusional. It sets them up for failure. And when they fail, they will blame it on Amazon, Ingramsparks, the vanity press they wasted money with. Publishing is easy now. Anyone can do it. And when writing groups praise terrible writing, so feelings don’t get hurt, that makes it worse. I think it’s unkind. There is no other profession where we support and encourage unrealistic “dreams”. When I see a post, such as, “I want to write a book. What should I write? Where do I start?” I scroll on past. I used to respond and suggest English classes, reading, things like that. But those reasonable suggestions are pounced on by the ones who feel there should be no rules, no discipline, and no need to know what you’re writing about. I’m stumped by this new attitude.
Sallie

Post by Sallie »

Writing isn't easy. Putting your thoughts or ideas on paper is a challenge. Unfortunately, some people want success without hard work. They seem to think that they can "sponge off" of other peoples writings and go from there. The best piece of advice I ever received was from a well known author when she told me to write what I knew about. Doing that, she said, would allow my passion to come alive. I stopped writing after college and lived a very busy life and have now started again in fan fiction. What I don't know I research. When I don't know how to phrase something, I ask. I don't plagiarize.


Last bumped by Anonymous on Fri Sep 02, 2022 1:17 pm.
Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post