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WritersEra |OT| Publish before you die

Oct 29, 2017
2,038
Minnesota
Does anyone have any experience with Inkitt? Is it worth posting stories there? I'm looking to increase my exposure for both of my series.
I made an account there a few years ago wondering what it was like, realized the place didn't seem for me, and then got spam emails for like two solid years after begging for my attention.

I tried to unsubscribe every time but it never stuck until magically one day it did.

So I'd avoid it simply because the business practices seem shit.
 

Timu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,230
I now have 10 chapters left for an outline on my upcoming Nano novel...a few kinda difficult chapters to do but overall pretty much everything else is looking to go smooth sailing from here. This is working out way better than I expected.
 

Weiss

Member
Oct 25, 2017
21,222
Alright, time to try again.

It's funny, I'm going over a few pages I wrote for NaNo last time, and holy fuck it is so bad. It's making me laugh.
 

Shoeless

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,792
Well my current WIP broke 120K and I'm still not wrapping it up. Gonna' need my beta readers to help butcher this one again and cut it down to size.
 

Xita

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
4,885
Well my current WIP broke 120K and I'm still not wrapping it up. Gonna' need my beta readers to help butcher this one again and cut it down to size.
Writing a novel really made me realize how easily these things break hundreds of thousands of words. I dunno how RPG game writers do it...
 

Double Down

Member
Oct 27, 2017
34
I just found this thread. Great stuff in here. Writing can be a pretty lonely experience. Happy to see this thread!

Like many here, I have been grinding on my epic fantasy novel. Then I had a daughter. I had to put the book down for four years. Getting back into 100k+ WIP wasn't easy, but I got there and started again. My writing process was always word by word, perfect the sentence and move on. A couple sentences a day was good progress. Doing the math will tell you how long I have been working on my novel.

Something weird happened then. My daughter got into chapter books (easy readers). She isn't the stereotypical fairies and princesses girl. She has a pile of chapter books with a young male protagonists--all those pink books do not interest her at all. Her favorite shows are How to Train Your Dragon, Ninjago, TMNT. Before that it was Paw Patrol, PJ Masks, etc. All boy driven, and most of them might have one female character of significance. Trying to find a show with a strong female lead that isn't pink is impossible for this age demo. I then looked for a chapter book with a female protagonist. Nothing on the shelves had anything more than the token female. Then I considered the novel I was writing. Yeah...

So I thought I'll write a book for her. These books are typically 6k words. Figured I could do it. I have never been so inspired before. My writing style changed. I was able to rough it out, and worry about the clean up later which was liberating. It was fun--writing hasn't been fun for a long time. Anyway, first draft is done, but it's not agent ready. Where do you guys go for readers? Are there pay-for-service places you'd recommend?
 

Shoeless

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,792
Anyway, first draft is done, but it's not agent ready. Where do you guys go for readers? Are there pay-for-service places you'd recommend?
If you're looking for beta readers, you should probably try going the free route first, as you can save money, and, if you're careful with cultivating the right group, have a trusted bunch of readers that can serve you for the rest of your writing life. I'd recommend, if you haven't already, start looking at the MG (Middle Grade) section of the Absolute Write forums. That's a community dedicated entirely to writing, and they have different sections for different interests, from science fiction and fantasy to romance, young adult, picture books and middle-grade novels/chapter books.

They also have a section where people can submit their work for critique as well as ask for beta readers. If you're looking for critiques, however, you need to put in a little bit of time. They have a requirement of new posters making at least 50 posts before getting access to the critique section, and the mods look poorly on people trying to accelerate the process by leaving one-word replies in threads everywhere of "Wow!" and "Neat!"

Still, if you're pretty serious about publication, or just wanting to know more about the querying process, or even what to do once you've got an agent and you're submitting to publishers, it's a pretty comprehensive forum for those interests.

If that's not enough, and you really want a professional, paid editor to look at your work, there are definitely places you can go for that.
 

Double Down

Member
Oct 27, 2017
34
That is really helpful. Thank you. I've registered. What a wonderful site. I'm not sure why I didn't think about searching a place like that out.
 

zulux21

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,688
That is really helpful. Thank you. I've registered. What a wonderful site. I'm not sure why I didn't think about searching a place like that out.
you can also always try our discord server as well and see if anyone wants to read it there. Some of our regulars read and give feedback.

Not me though, I just tell stupid jokes >.>
 

Famassu

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,809
Sooo... I woke up early today, around 4AM. Then something just kind of snapped in my head and I finally just decided to start writing a book/story. I've had this image of the beginning & rough idea of a fantasy story for quite a long time but I've never gotten around writing anything. It's still a VERY rough idea, but this night/morning, I came up with the first sentence of the book and I personally liked it so much that I googled if there was some software that was better for writing fiction than NotePad on Windows. :D Downloaded something called yWriter and started writing what I had thought up.

Now I have 820 words written. Not a whole lot but better than nothing. About 348 words of prologue (+ notes for the chapter that are ideas of where the prologue will go/end) and 424 words of a chapter later on that contains a fairly substantial twist to the story. I'm not sure if it's an end of the book or just a mid-book twist. It could work as both, though would be a bit cruel as an end of the book cliffhanger (which kind of makes me like that option more :D ).

Not sure if this is a good way of writing but now that I have a little bit of the beginning that sets up the story and the twist written out in some detail, I feel like I have something to work with & towards. Now I just need to figure out what would be an interesting, captivating & organic way of getting from the beginning to that twist-y point in the story, as well as flesh out the world. It's fantasy but I don't think I'll incorporate much if any magic into it. Mostly just picked the genre to have a bit more freedom with the setting, not to be hampered with historical & geographical accuracies and not to step on any toes by accidentally writing something insensitive about some real group of people/historical event.

I've never really written anything good but essays. Whatever creative writing I've had to do, it has always been super derivative (like, we had to write a short story on my 7th year of elementary and it was basically Blair Witch Project except set in my town, lol). But if I can ever finish this thing and polish it to some level of decent quality, I think I might have a pretty good story in my hands that, while very likely will be influenced by many of my favorite books, isn't just a copy cat of them.

Not really doing this in the hopes of becoming a pro or finding success, it's just one of those many dreams of mine of finishing a book/story in my life (much I'd like to make at least one music album that I'm personally happy with in my life). This is a start.
 

Shoeless

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,792
Good luck. No matter what happens to it in the end, your first book will ALWAYS teach you a lot.
 
OP
OP
weemadarthur

weemadarthur

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,018
It could work as both, though would be a bit cruel as an end of the book cliffhanger (which kind of makes me like that option more :D ).
Given the feelings I see in book-reading circles about actual cliffhanger endings, I would not advise doing one. If you mean end twist, that’s not quite the same tho.

Good work on getting started!
 

Primethius

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,835
Is there any free software folks recommend to write on? Currently just using Google docs at the moment but it seems very barebones. I don't mind paying but I'd rather get my feet wet before jumping in.
 
OP
OP
weemadarthur

weemadarthur

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,018
Ah, it's too early in the morning. I swear I glanced at the OP before asking that. Thanks.
No worries, it’s huge and I don’t have banners or anything, because graphics aren’t words lol. Also they MAY all be paid.

I still use default word processing software and keep different files for each chapter in a longer work rather than buying into anything. Also various free apps that promise to help writers, which I ignore just like every other assistive tool. So I’m individually not much help. XD
 

Xita

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
4,885
People who write novels on their phone are wizards. I hate even messaging on my phone lol
 

sphagnum

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,715
Is there a particular program or file format (or just specifications in general I guess) that a finished document has to be converted to before its sent for querying? I've been using Open Office with 1 inch margins all around, double spaced, Times New Roman.
 

Shoeless

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,792
Is there a particular program or file format (or just specifications in general I guess) that a finished document has to be converted to before its sent for querying? I've been using Open Office with 1 inch margins all around, double spaced, Times New Roman.
At some point in the trade publication process, you're going to have to convert over to an MS-Word .doc or .docx format. That's still the industry standard, most notable because editors tend to use the Track Changes function and comments these days instead of writing comments in the margins. Most of the time the literary agents, when you're querying, will already be expecting the file to be an MS-Word file, but sometimes they don't care, and will only advise you, just as they're about to send the manuscript off to acquiring editors, "Okay NOW I need this to be in Word, can you convert it?"

If you want to play it safe, make sure your query MS is in Word. No issues that way. Should it get anywhere with editors and then publishers, it'll remain an MS-Word file for the rest of its publication life.
 

sphagnum

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,715
At some point in the trade publication process, you're going to have to convert over to an MS-Word .doc or .docx format. That's still the industry standard, most notable because editors tend to use the Track Changes function and comments these days instead of writing comments in the margins. Most of the time the literary agents, when you're querying, will already be expecting the file to be an MS-Word file, but sometimes they don't care, and will only advise you, just as they're about to send the manuscript off to acquiring editors, "Okay NOW I need this to be in Word, can you convert it?"

If you want to play it safe, make sure your query MS is in Word. No issues that way. Should it get anywhere with editors and then publishers, it'll remain an MS-Word file for the rest of its publication life.
Thanks. I assume the 1 inch margins are correct? And now that I think of it, are there any standards governing how far down the page to put a chapter header? I've been tabbing down a few spaces and just placing it where it "looks right" but I have no idea what's actually supposed to be "correct".
 

Shoeless

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,792
Thanks. I assume the 1 inch margins are correct? And now that I think of it, are there any standards governing how far down the page to put a chapter header? I've been tabbing down a few spaces and just placing it where it "looks right" but I have no idea what's actually supposed to be "correct".
Yeah, 1-1.5" or 3 cm, depending on which measurement system you use, is generally correct. As far as chapter placement goes, about 1/3 of the way down is traditional. When you look on Google for MS submission formats, they're all pretty much the same. Although I now realize that I've been totally ignoring the chapter positioning, and usually just start at the top and my editor hasn't bothered to correct me. Oops.
 

zulux21

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,688
What does a more complex app bring to the table over google docs?
being able to have all your chapters together to quickly flip through as well as assign notes to each chapter all within the same program is nice (I have similar stuff for just characters in general and locations and what not)


This is Scivener btw. I really should learn more features from it at some point.
 

Xita

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
4,885
being able to have all your chapters together to quickly flip through as well as assign notes to each chapter all within the same program is nice (I have similar stuff for just characters in general and locations and what not)


This is Scivener btw. I really should learn more features from it at some point.
This reminds me that I discovered that they had a pretty robust built-in name generator the other day. I wonder how many other features it has that I haven’t found yet.
 

zulux21

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,688
This reminds me that I discovered that they had a pretty robust built-in name generator the other day. I wonder how many other features it has that I haven’t found yet.
I wonder when 3.0 will come out for windows.

I bought scrivener like 2 years ago with a promise that I would get the new version in a few months and now we are a few years later and it still hasn't been updated to parity with the mac version :P

but yeah, the thing has a ton of features that I haven't played with yet.
 

Shoeless

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,792
I would always recommend people use novel-specific writing software if they find the features useful.

I don't, but that's just me. I'm old school enough that I still find the DELETE key to be a writing miracle, and because I write my stories in a linear fashion, and don't do character outlines, or maps, or world-building notes or any of that other stuff, most of the really cool extras of novel-writing software are lost on me. I can see, however, how they would be a huge help to people that do find all that ancillary stuff necessary to their creative process.
 

sphagnum

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,715
Yeah, 1-1.5" or 3 cm, depending on which measurement system you use, is generally correct. As far as chapter placement goes, about 1/3 of the way down is traditional. When you look on Google for MS submission formats, they're all pretty much the same. Although I now realize that I've been totally ignoring the chapter positioning, and usually just start at the top and my editor hasn't bothered to correct me. Oops.
Thanks again.
 

Timu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,230
I now have 5 chapters left on the outline for my upcoming Nano novel. I took a tiny break but then came back fresh and was easily able to do multiple outlines for chapters all at once. The end is near!
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,702
Speaking of Nano thought I'd give a quick update as to what's happening in regards to the thread. I'm doing it again this year. Probably going to post it sometimes very late September so people have at least a month to plan if they want to. Other than that, it'll probably go mostly the same. If anyone has any suggestions/thoughts on something I should do differently, feel free to let me know here or shoot me a message.

Oh also I am very open to title suggestions for the Nano OT. Hit me with your best.
 

Timu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,230
Speaking of Nano thought I'd give a quick update as to what's happening in regards to the thread. I'm doing it again this year. Probably going to post it sometimes very late September so people have at least a month to plan if they want to. Other than that, it'll probably go mostly the same. If anyone has any suggestions/thoughts on something I should do differently, feel free to let me know here or shoot me a message.

Oh also I am very open to title suggestions for the Nano OT. Hit me with your best.
I'm guessing you're making the thread on the last week of September right?
 

InfiniteKing

Member
Oct 26, 2017
151
Not sure if I should give Nano a try, I haven't successfully wrote anything so far. Been busy learning chess, I suppose I could try to do it on my off time as a break from that. Anyone else use a Alphasmart writing device? I have mine I just really got to buckle down and get started using it.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,702
I think that would likely qualify for "Probably going to post it sometimes very late September " that Flowers included in their post :P
It could be on the last day of September too!!!=O
Yeah, fair enough, though regardless it should come a little bit earlier than last year(which I believe was on October 1st).
This is why I asked! Timu was the closest, I was thinking like three days before the last day of September. Now I'm going to move it up to mid-September. Just gotta sort a few logistic things out sooner rather than later.


Not sure if I should give Nano a try, I haven't successfully wrote anything so far. Been busy learning chess, I suppose I could try to do it on my off time as a break from that. Anyone else use a Alphasmart writing device? I have mine I just really got to buckle down and get started using it.
So I've never used one, but a guy I met at my local Nano last year used one and swore by it. Said it was amazing and loved it.
 
Oct 25, 2017
13,163
I think my nano is finally coming together.

This year I will definitely stick to what worked well with my most read Nano and stay withing 50K - 75K words for a complete story.

Two characters are already defined in my mind. The major antagonist needs a bit more rounding out, and I guess I need some additional folks.

I do need to do a bit of research because its going to be cooking type story so I dont want to be in the middle of novemember searching for foods and writing their description on the fly like some noob.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,702
Quick heads up, Nano Thread is going to happen sometime this week and I am still very open to dumb thread titles. Come on you creative writers, give me your best.