Writing Discussion Thread

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Prowler
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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby Prowler » 2014-02-16, 22:13

I've written a few stories when I was a kid. Mostly involving my favorite characters form my favorite video games and cartoons. Later I found out that I was writing something called "fan fiction" all along.

They were mostly funny stories of my favorite characters doing stupid stuff and cracking jokes, anyway. Nothing big.

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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby Koko » 2014-11-24, 4:37

I love writing! If I didn't have plans to become an archaeologist or more faith in my work I would totally become an author. I'm no fan of writing poetry, but I wouldn't mind attempting epic :hmm: . The Iliad and Odyssey are why I would do epics over something like poetry. Rhyming isn't my thing. I usually write fantasy. Anything that requires me to stick to Earth's rules, but isn't sic-fi , I cannot do. It just doesn't work. My ideas are more than often original, but some are a mix of various novels I've read. My stories often end up being short stories or at least more than five chapters. This because I either give up, grow tired of the plot, or just can't think of any more so I finish it up. In grade seven, I wrote a story called Salécron that was two and some exercise books long. The story was good, but I didn't develop it as well as I would now. Perhaps I should return and touch it up.

Through text, me and my friend wrote (well, "typed") an extremely good, impromptu short story. The next day we continued it. I wish I saved it!! I tried to get all of it on paper but something happened to a lot of the beginning so I couldn't even begin :( I can't even remember 80% of it that's important. It was fantasy of course ^^ .

I think that sometimes English is my favourite subject, because I get to write. I like this year's class especially because our teacher has these things called "writer's workshop" on Fridays. They're prompts given to us to prepare us for provincial's, but they're much fun 'cause they have to be narratives.
Last edited by Koko on 2014-11-24, 4:44, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby Koko » 2014-11-24, 4:40

Заря wrote:Oh god, I've always wanted to write something. I made numerous attempts and every single one of them failed. My scheme: 1. I have great idea 2. I usually write for 2 weeks 3. I read it and think about it 4. I think it's awful and not so great I thought it would be 5. I throw it away 6. Artistic part of me is depressed until new great idea occures.

Story of my life! I feel you breh!

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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby Lada » 2014-11-26, 18:21

There are some changes in my "writing career":

Lada wrote:- 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.

I finished that novel and started a new one. However I'm not satisfied with my first attempt, second one is much better, people like it. Also I started to write articles about writing.
- 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.

My stories will be published in a short stories collection book. The book will have ISBN, so it's official publication. There will be even book presentation.
- 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:

My ambition is to publish my second novel :ohwell:

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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby france-eesti » 2017-08-02, 14:17

Hiiii! Just to keep myself motivated I'm doing a post here!
I've decided to publish my last novel (the shortest one) as a free ebook on lulu.com, my self-publishing editor :)
The remaining steps are:
- formating the file so they're able to turn it into an ePub book
- finding a good front cover!!! (that's the hardest part for me - I can easily piss 600 pages but cannot find an interesting front cover! :evil: )
- trying to get through the selection team (because not all books are allowed).
- publiiiiiiiish! :mrgreen:

All right! I'm reading the tutorial for step 1 :lol: this is a start! Wish me good luck 8-)
(fr) Native - (en) Fluentish - (pt) Fluentish when I was younger - (ro) & (mg) Wanderlusting (hu) My current addiction - crazy about it! (nagy függő vagyok!)

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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby Osias » 2017-08-03, 16:51

Bonne chance!
2017 est l'année du (fr) et de l'(de) pour moi. Parle avec moi en eux, s'il te plait.

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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-08-03, 17:45

I want to get a book published, too: my grandfather's war memoirs. I'm kind of stuck right now, though. I have to decide a) whether to try to find an editor (my dad doesn't seem to think I should bother) and b) whether to publish it as a book or an article in a magazine like The New Yorker. The oldest member of our family suggested the latter as a way of gaining more readership, and also recommended that I try going to my local library to read some back issues of that magazine to see some examples.

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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby Aurinĭa » 2017-08-03, 18:47

france-eesti wrote:I've decided to publish my last novel (the shortest one) as a free ebook on lulu.com, my self-publishing editor :)

Good luck! If you succeed, do let us know.

vijayjohn wrote:I have to decide a) whether to try to find an editor (my dad doesn't seem to think I should bother)

Why does your dad think so?

You need someone to check your translation for grammar and spelling mistakes, as everyone makes those (a good proofreader will also check the punctuation is correct everywhere). If you want the memoirs to be accessible to a wider audience which doesn't necessarily have the required background knowledge, you need help deciding what readers need to know to fully understand the memoirs and how to convey that information to them in a way that doesn't detract from the diaries and isn't off-putting for those who don't want a full history lesson. You need someone to properly typeset the text (and someone to design a cover, like france-eesti mentioned).

In other words: no matter how good you are at translating the actual content, that doesn't mean you're also good at preparing the text for publishing. Don't make the same mistakes many self-published authors make.

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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby france-eesti » 2017-08-03, 19:00

Osias wrote:Bonne chance!


Merci, Osias et Aurinĭa :partyhat:
Good luck Vijay :) let's keep updated!
(fr) Native - (en) Fluentish - (pt) Fluentish when I was younger - (ro) & (mg) Wanderlusting (hu) My current addiction - crazy about it! (nagy függő vagyok!)

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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-08-03, 19:04

Aurinĭa wrote:Why does your dad think so?

I'm not entirely sure. He seems to think it's a waste of money for something that isn't likely to make much. He thinks it would be more profitable if this book was made into something like a video game.

Sidenote: One of my ex-colleagues had recommended this as a way for me to find editors (but also offered to be an editor himself if I still needed one). If I use that, I'm going to have to figure out how to use it in order to find an editor; I'm not really sure how that works.
france-eesti wrote:Good luck Vijay :)

Thanks! :)
let's keep updated!

Okay, I'll try!

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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby france-eesti » 2017-08-03, 19:16

Hi Vijay,
what do you think about self-publishing? You can make your own book, you can order and sell your copies the way you want... Editors are really hard to find! I've given up completely!
I am really happy with my self-publishing solution, honestly!
It's easy and quick! The only problem is you don't get publicity :?
(fr) Native - (en) Fluentish - (pt) Fluentish when I was younger - (ro) & (mg) Wanderlusting (hu) My current addiction - crazy about it! (nagy függő vagyok!)

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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-08-03, 19:24

I've been kind of trying to keep self-publishing in mind as an option but don't know much about these things, really. I'm not a published author yet. :) Also, I kind of do want some publicity, at least ideally. I know already a few people at least are intrigued by the fact that these memoirs portray (the Pacific Ocean theater of) World War II in the eyes of an ordinary Indian. IMO it would be good if people had more access to such perspectives on the subject.

Also:
Aurinĭa wrote:You need someone to properly typeset the text (and someone to design a cover, like france-eesti mentioned).

I think the cover part will depend on the other factor I mentioned, though, i.e. whether I publish it as a book or an article.

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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby france-eesti » 2017-08-03, 19:36

I totally understand you and this project is very awesome!
Just be prepared, that the world of publishing is very harsh... Which is why I've turned to self-publishing, because it's quick and easy, and you make your own communication. But you're right - no publicity then.
Do you feel you'll get yourself an agent? How does it work in the USA? I heard in the UK and in Ireland you need an agent to introduce you to publishers who are looking for new authors to publish. Publishers refuse unsolicited work - which is why I never tried.
Anyway I'm kind of curious to see how you will proceed - because that'll be interesting for me as well! :)
(fr) Native - (en) Fluentish - (pt) Fluentish when I was younger - (ro) & (mg) Wanderlusting (hu) My current addiction - crazy about it! (nagy függő vagyok!)

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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby Aurinĭa » 2017-08-03, 19:48

I have a few more questions for you, if you don't mind.

vijayjohn wrote:He seems to think it's a waste of money for something that isn't likely to make much.

Do you want to publish your grandfather's memoirs to make money, or do you want to publish them to share them with the world? If the former, the only way to guarantee you won't lose money by publishing is to get picked up by a publishing company, which will then bear the costs of proofreading, editing, typesetting and publicity.
If the latter, not having it properly prepared for publishing is a good way to diminish the interest that there may be for it. Nobody wants to read something that wasn't properly edited.

Do you want it published as an e-book or as a physical copy?

Do you want the whole publication to be in English, or to have a facing-page translation for the parts originally in Malayalam? If the former, do you want to indicate what was translated by you and what was written directly in English by your grandfather?

You mentioned that the diaries weren't always dealing with events in a chronological order, how do you want to deal with that? How do you want to indicate to the reader what was written when and in what order, and what happened when and in what order? Have you thought of making some kind of time-line, perhaps to be put in an appendix, with ample references to page numbers for the relevant sections?

Do you want to publish for academia or for the general public? Or for interested family members?

Have you thought of starting a fundraising/crowdsourcing campaign to cover the costs of publishing? I'm not suggesting you badger your family members for money, but perhaps some of them would be interested in contributing, even if just a little.

Do you want to include a short biography of your grandfather as an introduction to the memoirs themselves? Do you have pictures of him that could be included?

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Re: Writing Discussion Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-08-03, 20:42

france-eesti wrote:I totally understand you and this project is very awesome!

Merci !
Just be prepared, that the world of publishing is very harsh... Which is why I've turned to self-publishing, because it's quick and easy, and you make your own communication. But you're right - no publicity then.
Do you feel you'll get yourself an agent? How does it work in the USA? I heard in the UK and in Ireland you need an agent to introduce you to publishers who are looking for new authors to publish. Publishers refuse unsolicited work - which is why I never tried.

Not sure how that works here. I wasn't thinking along the lines of getting an agent, and I think if possible, I'd like to avoid publishing it as a book the old-fashioned way because I've heard there are all sorts of complications with that and that you're basically at the mercy of the publishers in such cases.
Anyway I'm kind of curious to see how you will proceed - because that'll be interesting for me as well! :)

Well, great! :)
Aurinĭa wrote:I have a few more questions for you, if you don't mind.

Sure!
Do you want to publish your grandfather's memoirs to make money, or do you want to publish them to share them with the world?

I was kind of hoping for both, to be honest, but:
If the former, the only way to guarantee you won't lose money by publishing is to get picked up by a publishing company, which will then bear the costs of proofreading, editing, typesetting and publicity.

which is pretty unlikely, right? I mean, only a few people know about it so far.

This is probably irrelevant since I don't know how this would help alleviate that problem at all, but I thought I might as well mention it anyway just in case it's of any interest: When I was working for Apple, one of my colleagues suggested that I could submit it to a journal in the field of South Asian history or something like that because there are apparently journals in that field where you can submit a translation of someone else's written work (provided it has to do with South Asian history, of course). He also offered to read it and show it to his professor. (Haven't heard anything about this since, though).
If the latter, not having it properly prepared for publishing is a good way to diminish the interest that there may be for it. Nobody wants to read something that wasn't properly edited.

Makes sense.
Do you want it published as an e-book or as a physical copy?

I was originally hoping to make it an e-book, but again, in light of my relative's advice, I might instead have it published in a magazine. We'll have to see, I guess.
Do you want the whole publication to be in English, or to have a facing-page translation for the parts originally in Malayalam?

I was thinking of having it entirely in English. I'm sure not many people are going to bother with the Malayalam version anyway tbh.
If the former, do you want to indicate what was translated by you and what was written directly in English by your grandfather?

I wasn't intending to do that because I have modified even the parts that were in English to some extent, too (though I had also typed out the original version and have that in a few separate .odt files on my hard drive). His English isn't bad at all, but it's not native, either, and my dad wanted me to rephrase it in a way that makes more sense from a native speaker's (i.e. my) point of view. I find that this also has the advantage of avoiding the complication of the English part sounding radically different in style from the Malayalam part. The only other way I can think of avoiding this problem is to try to imitate his English writing style in the parts I translated from Malayalam. :para: :)
You mentioned that the diaries weren't always dealing with events in a chronological order, how do you want to deal with that? How do you want to indicate to the reader what was written when and in what order, and what happened when and in what order?

I reorganized it in a way that makes more chronological sense. I also divided it up into chapters (which he didn't really do), each with an introduction, and added a bunch of footnotes as well as a table of contents. (In addition, as I say below, I wrote an introduction to the book in general).
Have you thought of making some kind of time-line, perhaps to be put in an appendix, with ample references to page numbers for the relevant sections?

He actually made a timeline of sorts himself at the beginning of his diary, so I included that.
Do you want to publish for academia or for the general public? Or for interested family members?

The general public, but I also want interested family members to have access to it, so I sent it to my cousins and most of their spouses already. None of them can read Malayalam. (I never sent it to my uncles and aunts, though. Maybe I should, but I'll have to think about that and talk about it with my dad as well. Maybe they'd be interested in seeing the original material, too). I just forwarded the e-mail I sent to my cousins to my sister-in-law as well (I meant to do this a bit earlier since she asked but forgot). I had already shared a Google Doc with my dad and brother (my only sibling) that has various things associated with this diary, including this version I wrote.
Have you thought of starting a fundraising/crowdsourcing campaign to cover the costs of publishing? I'm not suggesting you badger your family members for money, but perhaps some of them would be interested in contributing, even if just a little.

No, I hadn't. Sure, that sounds like a reasonable idea. Some of them might be interested; some of my ex-colleagues might be interested, too (one of them has already promised to buy it once I publish it, and two already have copies), and I'm almost positive one of my dad's friends would not only be interested but would spread the word without needing to be asked. (Said friend also informed me that I've already been invited to speak to the Boston Malayalee community since my grandfather also was one of the founding members. He has also promised to remind me of this once I publish it). So I'll try to keep that idea in mind, at least. Thanks! :)
Do you want to include a short biography of your grandfather as an introduction to the memoirs themselves? Do you have pictures of him that could be included?

I have included an introduction to the memoirs themselves; it's not so much a biography of him as it is explaining what this book is. I do have some pictures of him though not from during the war. No one has mentioned the possibility of including any of them until now.


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