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SFGirl Profile
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Scribus Administratus

Registered: 01-2004
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Posts: 939
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Re: Into the Mainstream


AlesiaJo, I'm going to jump in here with a suggestion on that.

I've often read that it's a good idea to try and condense your novel idea down into a single sentence (good for short stories, too). Do it this way: Story = Character + Problem. This is helpful for a few reasons; it sets the main thrust of your story firmly in your mind, gives you something to focus on if you get off-track, and can later act as the foundation for your book proposal or pitch. The other thing it does is give you a quick, concise, interesting answer when someone asks you what your book is about!

Some examples:
"Anna Karenina" is about a woman caught in a loveless marriage who can only leave it by losing her son forever.

"Transgression" is about a rogue physicist who travels back in time to kill the apostle Paul.

It's not easy to get it down to the basics but it's a really good exercise.

Sherry





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Reading: Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde
Writing: short story: no title yet
2/8/2005, 3:51 pm Link to this post Send Email to SFGirl   Send PM to SFGirl
 
AlesiaJo Profile
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Apprentice

Registered: 01-2005
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 75
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Re: Into the Mainstream


Never thought of putting it that way. That's a cool way to think about it. I'm not sure why I wouldn't of thought of it that way.

I suppose because it's my baby and making it sound as good and interesting as I want it to be just makes it more confusing. Especially to someone who hasn't got a clue the first words even written in the story.

The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Thanks Sherry.

AlesiaJo

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Reading: On Writing (again)
Rewriting: Dream Journal
2/8/2005, 4:11 pm Link to this post Send Email to AlesiaJo   Send PM to AlesiaJo
 
wanda7 Profile
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Master Scribe

Registered: 02-2005
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 312
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Re: Into the Mainstream


AlesiaJo,
What Sherry says is great, but I also find that the urge to chat about and share my stories dilutes the urge to actually write them (and therefore the ability to share the story more widely).
Sometimes I just want to say, I'll let you know where you can buy a copy when it's published. But, then, nobody really asks me!!
Nobody expects me to be writing, they're all surprised.
Wanda

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Reading: On Equilibrium (John Ralston Saul), Saving Fish From Drowning (Amy Tan)
Writing: Three Bags Full and various short stories
Living life large, loving with compassion
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Scribus Administratus

Registered: 01-2004
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Posts: 939
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Re: Into the Mainstream


I'm like you, Wanda, I find I have to be careful not to talk about an idea too much before I get it at least partially written. Otherwise the urge to write it just...goes away.

AlesiaJo, the trick is to write that simple sentence in such a way that it does sound good and interesting--so that when you tell it to people they say, wow, I'd like to read that!

Sherry

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Reading: Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde
Writing: short story: no title yet
2/8/2005, 9:34 pm Link to this post Send Email to SFGirl   Send PM to SFGirl
 
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Apprentice

Registered: 01-2005
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 75
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Re: Into the Mainstream


I'm not saying I walk up to people and say "Hey, this is what I'm writing about." But my husband has actually been bragging about me being able to do my dream, and then that's where the conversation comes up.

While I'm away I will think of a great line for my story to tell you about it. And make you want to read it.

Then we will get to the real nuts and bolts around here. Talk to you next week, and thanks a lot everyone.

AlesiaJo

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Reading: On Writing (again)
Rewriting: Dream Journal
2/8/2005, 10:03 pm Link to this post Send Email to AlesiaJo   Send PM to AlesiaJo
 
nuanc Profile
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Scribus Moderatus

Registered: 01-2005
Location: Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Posts: 204
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Re: Into the Mainstream


Sorry I sort of missed the boat on this discussion but I understand your problem, AlesiaJo.

I used to say some really dumb things when people would ask me what I wrote about. Usually something like, "Oh... life." True, in my case, but vague to say the least and unsatisfying for anyone who might have truly been interested.

And there are a lot of people who ARE truly interested. People are fascinated by writing and writers. If we can give them a prepared snippet, it helps everyone.

I do, when I start working on a new project, try to do what Sherry suggested. I'm wordy so one sentence is tough for me but three sentences I can usually do. It's a great way to focus the project and to keep in mind while I'm in the middle of it, what my initial inspiration was!

Then when someone asks, I have the summary in mind, ready and I don't end up sounding like an inarticulate idiot. And, they go away with the idea that maybe I am actually a writer who has interesting ideas. That's nice for me!

I think it's part of my evolution of taking myself seriously as a 'real' writer. It's almost a coming out to be able to express what's only in a draft stage as if it were already finished and wonderful!

~nanc

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READING: Not Wanted on the Voyage, Timothy Findlay
WRITING: a love story (planning stage)
PROPPING UP: Being Practically Creative
2/9/2005, 10:33 am Link to this post Send Email to nuanc   Send PM to nuanc
 
linders Profile
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Scribbler

Registered: 11-2006
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 2
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Re: Into the Mainstream


Hi. I'm a newbie to Writers Block. I write women's contemporary fiction which, I guess, falls into Mainstream. I'm looking forward to connecting with other writers. I just finished the NaNoWriMo challenge and am taking a short breather before launching back into a work in progress.

 emoticon

---
Linda Rettstatt

And the Truth Will Set You Free
Wings ePress, August, 2007
11/29/2006, 5:48 pm Link to this post Send Email to linders   Send PM to linders
 
SFGirl Profile
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Scribus Administratus

Registered: 01-2004
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Posts: 939
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Re: Into the Mainstream


Hi Linda!

Most of us are taking a short breather after NaNo! Of course for some of us that breather is filled with housecleaning and laundry catch-up. ;-) Drop by the water cooler and introduce yourself to everyone!

Sherry

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11/30/2006, 3:34 pm Link to this post Send Email to SFGirl   Send PM to SFGirl
 
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Scribus Moderatus

Registered: 01-2005
Location: Snowy Cold Cloudy Cleveland
Posts: 319
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Re: Into the Mainstream


I'll talk about my story ideas to anyone, and everyone, any time, anywhere.

But seldom is anyone actually interested.

---
Now Race Reading vs. nephew: Star Wars: 501st Imperial Guard
Still Slightly Writing: 'Resume for a Gladiator' (2005 novel)
http://mcdoogle-doogle.blogspot.com


Watching: The Dollhouse (X- Canceled!!)
3/31/2009, 12:59 pm Link to this post Send Email to McDoogle   Send PM to McDoogle
 


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