Writing Discussion Thread

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Hoogstwaarschijnlijk
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Writing Discussion Thread

Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2012-09-21, 12:35

Not sure if I should put this in the General Topics or in the World Literature, but because as far as I know most of us aren't actually writing world literature I decided to put it here... But if it's going to be moved it's fine with me!

Anyway. Recently there was a discussion in another thread about writing and apparently there are a few others who are writing or have an opinion about it. This isn't that surprising because in the Netherlands 1/8 of the population is said to be writing, so that's quite a lot of people and it's even more popular for young & high educated people and of those we have quite a lot on this forum. So I have got a few questions:

- Who else is writing/ trying to write?
- What do you write? Prose or poetry? Novels or short stories?
- Have you ever published anything or had success in other ways (performances, contests)?
- What is your ambition? Do you write just for fun or do you want to publish something and become a famous writer?
- What are your writing habits? Do you write every day? Do you think you should write every day? Do you prefer to write on paper or on the computer? Do you make schemes and use a programme like yWriter or do you just begin and don't even think about a plot and a story line?
- And because this is unilang: in what language do you write? and:
- Do you ever use more than one language when you write?

Personally I think that discussing writing is nice because it helps to keep yourself motivated, so please start.
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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby księżycowy » 2012-09-21, 19:20

Allow me to begin. :P

Yep, I'm a writer. I admit it. :lol:
-I'm working on a novel (or short story, novella, etc. depending on how long I end up making it), but I also write poetry.
-I've never published anything, but then again, I have nothing done yet. I've been (lazily for the most part) working on this one thing for like a year or two without much to show.
-First and for most, I write because I like too, BUT I would love to publish something eventually. Hey, why not try, huh? :wink:
-My writing habits are exactly like my language study habits. Bad. :whistle: Though with the writing I find that sometimes it just captivates me, and I just have to write.
I usually let the details, story-line, and plot come as I write, but I do have an idea of what I want to do before hand.

-As for the Unilangy questions, no I haven't used any of my languages in any stories. But after I get good with a language or two I'd like to either translate something I've written into it, or just write something in the language (whichever it may be).

And feel free to ask me any other questions. I don't mind sharing more. :wink:

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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby md0 » 2012-09-21, 19:37

Okay, I will answer in this one.

- I am constantly trying to write. Mostly failing but I am in a relatively neuter mood today so I'll stick to "trying".
-Prose. I never tried poetry. Short stories.
-Fiction, no. Non-fiction, kinda.
-Euh... I write because that's how I feel. Not ready to be read yet.
-Not fixed. Every now and then. Maybe. Both. I do some profiles and timeline, most of the time.
-Mostly English, also CyG and SMG.
-I have thought of doing it, mainly a mixed CyG/SMG thing that'd be natural.

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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby ceid donn » 2012-09-21, 21:43

Yes, I write too.

I write fiction and non-fiction. The internet has been bad because what I end up doing is writing comments on websites rather than writing my thoughts out in something a bit more... respectful. But I kind of have lost my outlets for writing to a more appreciative audience when I left academia. Not I write to no one. If I had taken a different path I suppose I'd been a blogger or online critic, which is a pity because, having Asperger's, I could have made a niche for myself easily in today's online media, had I already been on media path. But I decided to take the high road by doing music and then philosophy and theology in academic circles. High road...to poverty and unemployment. Now that I'm no longer affiliated with a university, nobody wants to read my thoughts on anything. I'm lucky if someone reads my freaking tweets.

I'm trying to get back into the habit of writing more constructively, so I'm forbidding myself from making long comments and I am trying to spend less time on Twitter. I've also limited the forums I visit to just Unilang. To stick to that, I've been trying to write every morning at 750words.com. I've had a good week this week--I actually was just finishing my entry for today before coming here. If I do some writing first, I tend to find staying away from comment sections and Twitter. A writer's gonna write--I just have developed so very bad habits about when and where I write!

Right now I'm working on a sci fi distopian story that should be about novella length. I'm annoyed that when I first started writing distopian stories there was hardly a market for them, so I never aggressively pursed getting published. Now they're the rage and I have been off wasting time on the Internet and wrestling with my chronic depression. :roll: But I'm going hash this distopian story idea and then I hope to move on to other types of sci fi.

I usually think of a general plot line first, and then I flush things out as I write them. Sometimes I'll make an outline, That works well for me too. I always write on the computer because I have dysgraphia and writing by hand becomes impossible after a short while.

I don't really write much in other languages beside my native American English, but I would like to some day. Occasionally I write a bit in Gaelic or French at 750words.con if I don't feel like working on my story, but I know it's error-ridden and subpar. However, in my current fiction story my main character belongs to a group of people who use a futuristic version of N American Spanish as well as dialects that I'm basing loosely on certain NAILs, although one is almost purely a conlang.

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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby razlem » 2012-09-21, 22:52

-What do you write? Prose or poetry? Novels or short stories?
I write down my dreams/nightmares, and I make them into short stories.

- Have you ever published anything or had success in other ways (performances, contests)?
When I was little, but I haven't tried to publish anything since then.

- What is your ambition? Do you write just for fun or do you want to publish something and become a famous writer?
Just a hobby. It'd be cool to publish a collection of short stories and get passive income, but that'd be in the future.

- What are your writing habits? Do you write every day? Do you think you should write every day? Do you prefer to write on paper or on the computer? Do you make schemes and use a programme like yWriter or do you just begin and don't even think about a plot and a story line?
Not every day, just when the urge hits me, or after a particularly memorable dream. I just start writing train of memory, and fill in the gaps.

- And because this is unilang: in what language do you write? and:
- Do you ever use more than one language when you write?

Almost always English, except if I need a made-up language, then I'll just create one.
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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby księżycowy » 2012-09-21, 23:43

I suppose I should add what genre I write, as a few others have after me.
I would hope it's obvious I write fiction. I don't do the non-fiction thing (at least not yet).

As to what type of fiction, that's a bit hard to pin down. Most of my ideas/stories have a heavy psychological framework. Some might border on psychological horror, others on psychological thriller. Mostly that kind of thing.

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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2012-09-22, 9:04

I'll answer my own questions too. I really enjoyed reading your answers :)


- What do you write? Prose or poetry? Novels or short stories?
Both prose and poetry. Sometimes I think I should stick with poetry, sometimes I think I should stick with prose. It just depends on what I did most recently. I really, really would like to write a novel and I've tried that a few times (with nanowrimo for example... Don't think I'm going to participate this november though. But I joined nanocamp last June & finished nanowrimo three times before that), but their quality has never been good enough and I can't motivate myself enough to try to make them better, I'm afraid I could only do that when I have a publishing house, which I haven't. Or maybe I just like shorter stories more. At first I thought it was good to write short stories, that I would train my writing and that it would make it easier to write a novel later, but that's just not true. I can write short stories fairly well, but writing a novel is a whole other thing.

- Have you ever published anything or had success in other ways (performances, contests)?
I've not really published anything, but I've had some success at contests and with my poetry I have performed at several festivals.

- What is your ambition? Do you write just for fun or do you want to publish something and become a famous writer?
It's not just for fun, I love to perform and I really wouldn't like it if I wouldn't do that anymore. And of course I'd like to publish something. But on the other hand I don't know if I've got enough ambition and motivation, so I doubt that I'll ever reach something. There are so incredibly many people dreaming of a publication... At this moment I think I'd prefer to publish a poetry collection but the time isn't really good for poetry, publishing houses are really hesitant about it.

- What are your writing habits? Do you write every day? Do you think you should write every day? Do you prefer to write on paper or on the computer? Do you make schemes and use a programme like yWriter or do you just begin and don't even think about a plot and a story line?
I don't write nearly enough. I just can't write when I don't feel well and I only want to write when I think I'm going to produce something good (except when I'm doing a nanowrimo then I don't really care). On the other hand I realise that if I wait till I feel like writing then I won't write much at all. But I just need something to get me started: when I know I'll perform soon, or when I want to join a writing contest, it just goes much easier.
When I'm trying to write a novel, I tend to think about the whole story, but I try not to do this too much because I like that most and otherwise I'm like: 'Oh, I know how it all goes, then this will happen, then that will happen, why bother to write it down?' :roll: With poetry or short stories I don't have this because then I focus on writing style and use of language more.

- And because this is unilang: in what language do you write? and:
Almost exclusively Dutch
- Do you ever use more than one language when you write?
Ha, not when I'm writing seriously, but I've written some poetry that used several languages and when I was smaller I really liked to write about a different world with a different language and just used my conlangs in dialogues :lol:


Oh, and just like razlem I've used my dreams & nightmares a lot for short stories, I think this works very well :)
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Corrections appreciated.

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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby Meera » 2012-09-22, 17:40

I love to write and I write alot of short stories. I'm just not good at it :P But it's fun anyway and helps improve my spelling/grammar.
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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby JackFrost » 2012-09-22, 18:30

Who else is writing/ trying to write?
Me. :D

- What do you write? Prose or poetry? Novels or short stories?
I write randomly. Sometimes very short texts, but I have three fictional stories written out (two short ones that are completed and a long one still in the works).

- Have you ever published anything or had success in other ways (performances, contests)?
Yeah, my two stories have a little reader base. :)

- What is your ambition? Do you write just for fun or do you want to publish something and become a famous writer?
Just for fun! I don't aspire to be a real writer (in a sense of having published books and doing some tours to promote them). It's just a hobby that can be good taking your time away and keep your language skill sharp.

Also, it's because I can take forever to get things done. I don't have a deadline except the expect amount of time I will live. I know I should live for 50-60 more years, but let's say... a cancer in my 50s and I might be dead because of it, then I would hurry up to finalize the only uncompleted long story. ;)

- What are your writing habits? Do you write every day? Do you think you should write every day? Do you prefer to write on paper or on the computer? Do you make schemes and use a programme like yWriter or do you just begin and don't even think about a plot and a story line?
Sometimes I write on paper, yeah... Keep my handwriting fresh at least. And sometimes I would just use the computer only. Anyways, even if handwritten, it'll end up being saved on the computer. I use no special program apart from LibreOffice Writer (not willing to pay to have a MS Office pack). I have some plots in mind and I just go on picturing the scenes.

I'm just an amateur, not a very skilled one. :P

- And because this is unilang: in what language do you write? and:
In my long story, it's mostly in English, but it has French Canadian characters... so the dialogues between them are in Quebecois French. Then I translate the dialogues immediately after each lines using the italic font because I use the story to get people to learn a bit of French. Just so they don't have to figure out what the hell the characters are saying, which can turn them off from reading further if they're not reading at a fair rate and completely in English. The two short stories are all in English.

Then random short texts not being more than a few paragraphs long are mostly in French. And a few in Catalan and English.

- Do you ever use more than one language when you write?
See above.

Personally I think that discussing writing is nice because it helps to keep yourself motivated, so please start.
Much agreed. :)
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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby Yserenhart » 2012-09-23, 7:29

- What do you write? Prose or poetry? Novels or short stories?
I write mostly non-fiction prose (scientific articles almost exclusively), but I also sometimes write poems. I used to write short stories, but I haven't done so for many years now.

- Have you ever published anything or had success in other ways (performances, contests)?
Haven't published anything yet, but I have a number of current review articles that I aim to get published in journals, plus over the next couple of years I'll have multiple research articles that I'll be able to submit for publication.

- What is your ambition? Do you write just for fun or do you want to publish something and become a famous writer?
I write the articles because it's an essential part of my study and research, but the poems I write solely for fun.

- What are your writing habits? Do you write every day? Do you think you should write every day? Do you prefer to write on paper or on the computer? Do you make schemes and use a programme like yWriter or do you just begin and don't even think about a plot and a story line?
I write most days, normally on the computer. I will sometimes write poetry on paper, but normally that's as a form of calligraphy instead of pure writing. I use Microsoft Word to write things that are to be submitted for publication, as it's the best way to create the manuscript, but for everything else (including scientific writing that isn't for submission to a journal) I use Adobe InDesign, and generally produce it immediately into a final publishable format and layout.

- And because this is unilang: in what language do you write?
Normally solely in English, as that's the expected language both for all the journals I'm looking to submit to, and for my university, but I sometimes write poetry in other languages (to date only Finnish and Māori, hopefully I'll add some more to the list soon).

- Do you ever use more than one language when you write?
I often use bits of Latin alongside the English in my scientific writing, if that counts.
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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2012-09-23, 8:07

JackFrost wrote:
- And because this is unilang: in what language do you write? and:
In my long story, it's mostly in English, but it has French Canadian characters... so the dialogues between them are in Quebecois French. Then I translate the dialogues immediately after each lines using the italic font because I use the story to get people to learn a bit of French. Just so they don't have to figure out what the hell the characters are saying, which can turn them off from reading further if they're not reading at a fair rate and completely in English. The two short stories are all in English.



Ah, I do remember that. You're the only one who's answered where from whom I have read something :)


I used to write everything on paper because I was against the computer (...), but nowadays I don't think I'm even able to do that... Sometimes when I'm not home and have an idea for a poem I'll write it down on a random piece of paper, but besides that, I really need the computer. Though with poems I can think them all out in my mind before writing them down, then I only need to decide how the form will be, where I'll put the enters.
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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby ILuvEire » 2012-09-24, 6:08

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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2012-09-24, 10:33

Interesting links, ILuvEire, thanks!

I love Zadie Smith so I just read her ten rules (first link). What do we think about this one?

"Don’t romanticise your ‘vocation’. You can either write good sentences or you can’t. There is no ‘writer’s lifestyle’. All that matters is what you leave on the page."


Because I tend to agree, in theory she is very right! But in reality... Well, maybe it used to be that what you write is all that matters, but not anymore. A publishing house needs you to be charming, able to speak in public and to get a publishing house you'll need a good network, socialise with the right people, be around at the right places... That's the hardest part for me. There are plenty of poets who I consider to write... well, not bad maybe, but also not that good and then suddenly they are publishing at a nice publishing house and I'm like: okay, what happened? And then those are always the poets who are around at every poetry festival, making friends with everyone, are having a 'writer's lifestyle' full of alcohol and philosophical discussions. So it seems Zadie Smith isn't right here.
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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby ILuvEire » 2012-09-24, 20:52

Hoogstwaarschijnlijk wrote:This isn't that surprising because in the Netherlands 1/8 of the population is said to be writing, so that's quite a lot of people and it's even more popular for young & high educated people and of those we have quite a lot on this forum.
Remind me to never try to get published in the Netherlands, yikes. :shock:

Who else is writing/ trying to write?
Girl, yes!

What do you write? Prose or poetry? Novels or short stories?
More or less everything. I'm studying journalism, so I have the most experience in writing tailored for a newspaper or magazine, but I've dabbled in literally every area. I've written a literal fuckton of poetry (a majority of which is unpublishable--I like to play around with different kinds of poetry, so I've got tons of shitty Italian sonnets and McWhirtles and cinquains) and several short stories and plays.

Have you ever published anything or had success in other ways (performances, contests)?
I've entered into a few writing contests and been published that way, but I've yet to be published the traditional way: my next goal. I also had the awesome opportunity to write a one act play which I then directed with a bunch of theatre II kids in high school.

What is your ambition? Do you write just for fun or do you want to publish something and become a famous writer?
I just want to be a writer. I'm not too interested in how I make money or whether I'll become famous, I just want to write. It's kind of frightening because writing isn't really a career path that I know I'll be able to find success in, but the idea of not writing is, to me, so much more terrifying than the idea of writing and not knowing where my next meal is coming from.

What are your writing habits? Do you write every day? Do you think you should write every day? Do you prefer to write on paper or on the computer? Do you make schemes and use a programme like yWriter or do you just begin and don't even think about a plot and a story line?
I write every day. I'm not the kind of person who can make a solid, structured routine (particularly at the stage of my life that I'm in right now) but I make time to write during the breaks in between classes or, at the very least, before I go to bed at night. I prefer to write on paper, honestly, the computer easily distracts me and I have a lot more trouble getting my thoughts out, but that depends a lot on the type of writing I'm doing. Journalistic writing I can't do on paper; it just feels wrong, but fiction belongs on paper for me.

And because this is unilang: in what language do you write?
Typically English, but I've written quite a bit of poetry in Hebrew, German or Yiddish, as well.

Do you ever use more than one language when you write?
In poetry, hellll yessss. As many languages as possible!
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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2012-09-25, 7:54

ILuvEire wrote:
Hoogstwaarschijnlijk wrote:This isn't that surprising because in the Netherlands 1/8 of the population is said to be writing, so that's quite a lot of people and it's even more popular for young & high educated people and of those we have quite a lot on this forum.
Remind me to never try to get published in the Netherlands, yikes. :shock:


I doubt this is different in the USA, actually. And maybe even 'worse', look at this: http://publishingperspectives.com/2011/ ... ish-books/

What is your ambition? Do you write just for fun or do you want to publish something and become a famous writer?
I just want to be a writer. I'm not too interested in how I make money or whether I'll become famous, I just want to write. It's kind of frightening because writing isn't really a career path that I know I'll be able to find success in, but the idea of not writing is, to me, so much more terrifying than the idea of writing and not knowing where my next meal is coming from.



You remind me of how I thought when I was younger :blush: I hope you'll succeed. I still hope I will succeed myself, but for me it's not as easy as you describe it here. I want to write. I also want to know where my next meal is coming from, I also want to have a house. I'm still hoping those two can go together but it's difficult to find a balance.


You wrote about writing contests, what kind of writing contests were this? I'm curious how it must be to be a young writer in the USA, because it's so big, there will be so many talents around there! Are there national contests that you entered or are there also a lot of local ones? Are they restricted for age?

In the Netherlands there are quite some contests, some poetry, some short stories. Very often it's a local contest, organised by the library of some small city for example, but that usually doesn't really matter: a lot of people in both the Netherlands & Belgium will enter, especially when the prizes are nice (money, a publication in a newspaper, something like that). For young people (age 16-24 when I'm right) there is Writenow! There are several qualifying rounds and it depends on where you live which one you need to enter. They are still figuring out what the cities must be to get equal results: Utrecht and Antwerp are always very busy for example, while basically no one enters in Maastricht. This makes it all a bit unfair because the quality is very high at Writenow! When you're in the final and when you'd win the final, you can be quite sure that there will be several publishers who are willing to publish your novel, so well, as you can imagine, everyone will writing ambitions joins Writenow! Unfortunately I've only won a third prize in a qualifying round and now I'm too old...
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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby Lada » 2012-09-26, 20:09

One more "writer" here :yep:

- What do you write? Prose or poetry? Novels or short stories?
I write prose and tried different types of it: novel (not finished yet), short stories, miniatures (one page story) and even faity-tail.
- Have you ever published anything or had success in other ways (performances, contests)?
Does Internet count? I published my works on several sites and as it always happens got opposite reviews, though fairy-tail was favored by the majority of readers. And I've never taken part in any contests.
- What is your ambition? Do you write just for fun or do you want to publish something and become a famous writer?
My ambition is to finish my novel :mrgreen: Then I'll try to promote myself in the internet and to become an independent "writer" who doesn't take anything for reading her books. Publishing industry in Russia is very difficult to fit in as you need to write "easy literature" or write as your publisher wants or... whatever but I want to write what I feel, what I think I have to say to the outer world. Of course there are some "serious writers" but for that I need to participate in contests and write much more books than one unfinished novel. Well, may be I'll try to participate in a contest, but yes, finishing novel is my first ambition.
- What are your writing habits? Do you write every day? Do you think you should write every day? Do you prefer to write on paper or on the computer? Do you make schemes and use a programme like yWriter or do you just begin and don't even think about a plot and a story line?
I write very seldom. There's no excuse for me and every person if he wants to be a writer should write every day, otherwise it's all nothing but a silly hobby. And in my case it's exactly like this mostly because I don't believe that I can earn money with this, so I'm not ready to dedicate myself to writing as a profession. I always write on computer, don't make any schemes, don't use any programmes, I keep everything in my head thinking about the plot while doing some other things or even discussing it with my friend. Sometimes I start writing with very vague idea of the next chapter so I use my "intuitive writing" skills.
- And because this is unilang: in what language do you write?
Russian
- Do you ever use more than one language when you write?
I have only one sentence in English in my novel, but I have a plot in my head for another novel and the main character speaks several languages fluently :D

This thread is very motivating, let's write something good for the humanity :mrgreen:

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Hoogstwaarschijnlijk
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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2012-09-27, 8:12

A question for the ones who're trying to write a novel...

What I find most difficult is remembering how time passes in my novel. What happened when, how old is she when I'm saying that five years before this happened to him and if I'm writing that they're going to school today is that coherent with what I wrote what happened two days before (did that happen on Friday or could it also have been a Wednesday)? Those kind of things. How do you do this, any advice?
Native: Dutch
Learns: Indonesian and baby signs
Knows also (a bit): English, German, Turkish, French, Danish

Corrections appreciated.

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Lada
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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby Lada » 2012-09-27, 17:15

So far I haven't had such problem, probably because most part of my novel happens in the "present" (though I can't define the actual year of this present) and all events are within several days from the point of view of my characters.
However I have chapters dealing with the past and future, but I just decided for myself how old are the characters in the present time, so it's not difficult to define their age in different time periods. And to make it real, I write how old they are.

I think the best way to solve this problem is to draw a line and make some points on it dealing with character's age and events in his life. Probably in your case you need to think over character's lifetime more thoroughly (if it's a family saga for example) and your line(s) will be very long. :)

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Hoogstwaarschijnlijk
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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2012-09-28, 13:43

Lada wrote:I think the best way to solve this problem is to draw a line and make some points on it dealing with character's age and events in his life. Probably in your case you need to think over character's lifetime more thoroughly (if it's a family saga for example) and your line(s) will be very long. :)


Yes, that could work... I also thought that maybe I should make it easier for myself and not try to write a whole family saga :P
Native: Dutch
Learns: Indonesian and baby signs
Knows also (a bit): English, German, Turkish, French, Danish

Corrections appreciated.

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KiLe7x
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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby KiLe7x » 2012-10-04, 18:47

:ohwell:

- From time to time i write some short stories, but they aren't connected in any way, and usually i write them just for fun, to kill some bored time... but usually, after i wrote those short stories, i just trash them...
- Well, i'm not that good in poetry, i think i'm not good at all actually in any tipe of literature, but i like to write so i simply write. :P :D
- Hmmm... No, i've never published anything in my life. But i had few books done in fully. Three actually and two that i've never finished. And yeah, almost all of them i trash them. Except one that i gave to my best friend cos he wanted to have it... :P
- I'm writing just for fun, but i have in mind to publish one book in my life just that i can say - yeah, i've done something in my life, - tho i don't know will i succeded. Never the less, i'm optimistic, so i hope i will succeded on one way or another.
- No, i don't write every day. Tho i'm almost in the mood for writing, i'm usualy without inspiration, and i don't do anything if i don't have it. So, no inspiration, no writing (by writing i mean some serious book writing). And i'm already doing on one project that i hope will be one day published and also, will be something new and original. But that is what i hope it'll be.
I prefer writing on paper first cos in that way i can write as fast as my story developes in my mind. While i'm writing some story (short one or big) i usually make plot with spontanious progress. I don't like plans cos even real life isn't major plan. It is actually an mixation of spontainious acts and ordered chaos.
- Usually, well, most of my writings are in my native language cos as you can notice, i'm pretty bad in english. (i'm practicing my english to make it almost perfect)
- If my story requires for useage of another languages, than yeah; but no, usually i write it only in Croatian.
- Per aspera ad astra
- Sic parvis magna
Native: [flag=]hr[/flag]
Perfecting: [flag=]en[/flag]
Want to learn: [flag=]zh[/flag] [flag=]fi[/flag] [flag=]nl[/flag] [flag=]fr[/flag] [flag=]de[/flag] [flag=]ja[/flag] [flag=]la[/flag] [flag=]it[/flag] [flag=]sl[/flag] [flag=]sr.Cyrl[/flag] [flag=]sgn[/flag]


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