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Can I get a mentor here?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Writer’s_Magic, May 25, 2018.

  1. Maybe you’ve noticed it from my other threads already. I don’t know where to begin. So, I want to ask you if I can get a mentor here. It’s better to have one, who published a book. I don’t want to offend you. But you write so many answers, I can’t read everything! (I like your help, but it’s just too much.) So, I want to ask you if one of you want to be my mentor. Don’t worry! If you don’t like it to be, you won’t hurt me.
     
  2. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

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    You don't really need a mentor.

    Do you aspire to write good books and sell them to readers someday? Dedicate yourself, right now, to the long tough road ahead. I know this isn't what you want to hear but honing your skill takes years and you will never arrive. You will always learn something new, always need to grow in specific areas, and never truly master the others. The craft will always be a step ahead and you will always be chasing that next level. It's a beautiful thing!

    Now, if you believe that having a mentor will make things easier it won't. The reason why you wouldn't, in my opinion, necessarily benefit from having a mentor is because every writer is different. You must learn to develop your own habits, your own voice, your own way of crafting story. Other writers can be an example to you and their work can inspire yours, but basically no one else can put in the work for you. It has to be done by you and you alone. Yes, it will suck at first. Hell, it will suck for a really long time. But with every story you finish you will become better and better.

    Study plot. Study the craft. Apply what you learn to your stories and keep moving forward. Write one sucky story after the next. Challenge yourself with each project and don't stop writing/practicing. Read, read, read. Write, write, write. You cannot avoid the huge mountain in front of you. There are no shortcuts. The only way to learn is to strap on the harness and climb that mountain.
     
    Heliotrope likes this.
  3. Chessie2Chessie2 I stuck at the logline. (Logline: An American woman, who lives in the future, has to run away from furious North gods, who wants to see her dead.) I don’t know how to move forward with this. I mind-mapped like a mad girl. I mind-mapped about my future-imagination, about my knowledge about the North Mythology. Argh! I don’t move forward. Even I decided to use the hero’s journey. But I still have a red, big question mark about the head. Help! ...
     
  4. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

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    Do you have a plot? Conflict? Character development? Focus on those things. Answering those questions should at least get you started.
     
  5. Chessie2Chessie2 That’s it! I don’t have a plot. Not really. The only theme, I know yet, is surviving. But just one theme doesn’t make a good book. I know my character is going to be female and live in a futuristic Boston. However, I don’t have an inner conflict.
     
  6. writeshiek33

    writeshiek33 Sage

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    writers magic i like to help if i can
     
  7. writeshiek33

    writeshiek33 Sage

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    never published a book but writing one
     
  8. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

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    Inner conflict comes from the struggle your character faces to accomplish the story's goal while also overcoming a personality flaw/defect.

    Plot= the genre and subgenre of your story. What kind of fantasy story do you want to write? Epic? That will be one kind of plot. Alternate historical? That will be another. Sword and sorcery? Another. A mixture? Figure out which type of fantasy you want your story to fall under; or the audience you want to write for.

    It doesn't sound like you have anything more than a vague idea and that logline isn't doing you any favors. What will help is getting specific. Research fantasy plots (there are a lot of good articles on this site), look up youtube videos, and read books that are similar to what you wish to write. Studying plot and applying those principles will help you immensely.
     
  9. writeshiek33

    writeshiek33 Sage

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    for me i create the characters first then that is me pm writer's magic we can talk i find it helpful to talk about things to push things along
     
  10. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

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    No one can help you develop a plot or characters or setting out of whole cloth. If they did, it wouldn't really be your story, would it?

    I agree that logline is not helping you. You need to set it aside and start asking yourself some practical questions. Where precisely in America is she from? How far in the future? What's different in her world? Why do the Norse (I assume you mean Norse?) gods want her dead? What did she do? How does she travel while running away? What is the deal with these gods? Where do they live? What do they spend their time doing? Do they have powers? What kind? How are they going to make things difficult for her? What is her goal/destination? How will she change over the course of the story? Just keep asking and thinking about it until you come up with something that sounds good and write it down. Keep writing things down until they can be vaguely shaped into an outline. Go over your outline looking for holes or things you can make better. Start writing ASAP.
     
  11. Foah

    Foah Troubadour

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    I think you may be stressing yourself out a bit with preconception of supposed progress. You've been asking a whole heap of questions the last week or two, which is great. You've received alot of replies in your threads because your questions are questions that many aspiring authors have to ask every now and then one way or another. So far so good yea?

    You need to separate your two desires. On the one hand, you want help bringing an initial-thought-level idea to paper. On the other, you want help learning basic concepts of writing that you've come across quite recently. I'm gonna tell you right now that you won't learn all you want about both of these issues at the same time, while also producing a masterpiece of literature. I think you need smaller steps, like the rest of us :)

    It's easy for very new writer's to be madly devoted to their first idea, and that devotion will do you alot of harm if unchecked. It will prevent you from experimenting outside of that idea, which prevents you from learning more broadly about how to write.

    My first suggestion to you, which won't require tremendous changes on your behalf, is to come up with a scene or an encounter. You don't need to know what's going to happen in it, but that doesn't matter. Force yourself to do this one exercise. Write the scene anywhere from say 1 to 10 paragraphs in length, and see what you came up with. Don't like it? Rewrite it. Repeat, until you have something that you feel is a minor achievement.

    Here comes the fun part. Dissect what you just wrote. If you're interested in learning how to show more and tell less, look at how you've written your things, and study your text alongside resources on the technique you find online. You'll find a bunch of ways you can change your text already. You want to learn how to present intrigue better? Study about it, and compare your text to others' examples on intrigue. You'll find things to change in your text. Repeat this, and play around with your text alongside techniques you find interesting to learn.

    Remember that techniques are suggestions and guidelines. They're not rules. You don't become a level 2 writer once you unlock the secrets of show/tell, and you won't be a lvl 4 writer if you blindly follow the hero's journey setup.

    Improvise, adapt, revise, rewrite, kill and revive your written text as much as you want. In the end, your text will read completely differently to what it read like when you first started, and you'll have learned at least something :) Read, write, rewrite, reread. This is how you learn and improve. Will take closer to 50 years than 50 days to feel like you master writing, if even 50 years would be enough.
     
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  12. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    If I was going to mentor somebody I would to see a good sampling of work in front of me, enough to see what somebody was good at and where they were going with their writing. I would also want to be able to give people a far wider range of comments than the narrow next step of plotting their book.

    You're asking for somebody to get you from ground zero, and that's very hard. You've got to get yourself off the ground and show us some momentum before we can help point you in a direction.

    I would suggest that you're starting in the wrong spot, though, Writer's Magic. Two of the biggest reasons people have trouble in the stage you're at, I would believe, are 1) anxiety because you think everything is make-or-break-forever, so try a smaller writing task where it's okay to fail, and 2) it's overwhelming to think of a project as big as the ones you're looking at, so again, take a look at a project with smaller steps.

    Try a few smaller prompts for a while, something like Top Scribe, Mythwright or the Words, Name or Dare thread in the Challenges forum. This is what they're there for.
     
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  13. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

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    I agree the challenges would be a great boost, especially Top Scribe, which would help you (OP) work some things out if you wrote those particular stories in your fantasy world.
     
  14. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

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    I agree with what's been said above. Start small, like with Top Scribe, then work your way up.

    As for plot, for me, all story starts with a person who wants something and there's something preventing them from getting what they want.

    For example Luke Skywalker wants two things. One to be a pilot/jedi like his father. Two, to defeat the empire and save the princess.

    The first is a personal desire that sparks internal change. The second is an external desire that takes them on a journey that will lead them to everything they want. Along the way they will encounter obstacles that will seemingly set them further and further back from their desires, but during each encounter they learn something they don't realize that in fact is leading them closer to their goals. They just have to open their eyes and see.

    To turn this back to you for a second. You want to be a writer. That's your desire. You come to Mythic Scribes and ask a lot of good questions, and you read up on how to write a book from other sources. (Which is great) You get lots of information, but don't necessarily know how to make heads or tails of it all. But the simplest answer IMHO is for you to see that all you have to do is sit down and write.

    You need to write and you need to fail. And you need to do this A LOT. There are going to be things you'll do instinctively well. There will be others that you'll be terrible at.

    But you don't know what you don't know until you try.

    Again, the very basics of a story starts with a person who wants something, and there's something standing in the way. The plot is the problems they encounter and how the person overcomes them or doesn't. The story will mostly be about them failing, until the end when they take all that they've learned from their failures and puts it together and finally succeeds.
     
  15. ThehornedGoddess

    ThehornedGoddess New Member

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    There are a few things I want to recommend that have been helpful for me lately, and at large.

    Firstly, I recommend considering finding accountability, critique, feedback and writing partners. Either through the various online platforms available like this one or through finding a physical writing group, each has its pro’s and cons, personalities, and things that they can offer. I think as long as there is reciprocal energy exchanges and you are willing to do the best you can to help each other you become each other’s teachers, mentors and students anyway. Write, and share. Make sure you have something to bring to the table even if its one sentence.

    I don’t necessarily think there is anything wrong with the idea of a mentor, but what I have found in myself, in my friends and in writing circles over the years is what we need more than a mentor is to be surrounded by supportive people, and a few trusted ones we can share our writing with to get that feedback, to challenge and to support us on the journey. There are plenty of ways you can do this too by doing challenges short term or long term, commenting on other peoples work, and long term challenges like Camp/Nanowrimo [National Novel Writing Month] or create your own.

    More on the craft and characters aspect…

    I could give you a list of resources pages long – One though that has helped me come back to the basics of craft and storytelling in a new way has been Lisa Cron’s work. I believe she has classes out there on the site Lynda and she has a few books one which is called Story Genius. I have found her perspective and way at looking at story as a whole to be a pivotal change in the direction of how I view the craft and stories, and her discussion on story and what it is are inspiring.

    On the subject of writing inner conflict, I highly recommend checking out Breathing Life into your characters by Rachel Ballon or search for psychology in writing fiction. Looking deeply at the inner wounds, background story and life goals of a character lays the foundations, what really hooks you into a story is being able to step inside their inner landscape and ask questions, probe, explore, create conflict and I think by connecting with aspects of psychology this helps. Breathing life in your characters is a great book that offers exercises for focusing on the inner to create the external and vice versa.

    One simple and free suggestion could be to look at personality types. Like Myers Briggs you can get a great idea about some of the inner, personalities of characters and find one that you feel works for your character. They also get you thinking about how other characters would interact with your main character and the kinds of worlds your character could inhabit living with that personality type.

    Take one of those personality types, and write about your character using them for 15 minutes, then write another scene for 20, and so on. Build on that. Explore the different elements. I know it is a simple technique or tool. But it has been one that has helped me with defining characters in small casts, as well as large and it gets me deeper into knowing my character and learning about writing at the same time. I learn what I like, and how I respond to characters and stories.

    In terms of what you want to write, that’s fantastic. I started writing SF a few years ago after I never thought I would, or could, and I sat down and I wrote, and I failed at it a lot, and I have two finished manuscripts and reading over it is sometimes painful because a lot of it is shit, but the learning experience, the challenge, the friendships, the soundtracks [make yourself a good soundtrack] and just writing to learn about the genre or the story itself... that keeps me coming back to the world, it is worth it.

    And we are all in the same place every day we wake up. We are always starting again, learning again, growing and making mistakes and sometimes even people who have been at this for years need to be reminded of that, the heart of it though is…

    WHY DO YOU WANT TO WRITE – WHY THIS STORY – WHY THIS GENRE – WHY NOW?

    Write down the answers to these questions and you’ve already begun…
     
  16. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    I can't really add anything new to what others have said, but in the name of pack influence I'll add my voice :)

    You need to write, Writers_Magic. You just need to write. You are stuck in planning mode, which is good for a while, but very debilitating to your goals. Stop planning. You don't need a mentor. You need to write stuff, fail, get feedback. Get up, write some more.

    Others have suggested starting small. I agree. Do some of the challenges on this site. Write a few 500-1000 word flash fiction pieces. Try to submit them. Get rejected. Repeat. I'm having a gay old time doing that right now. I have set a goal of writing 1 new flash fiction piece/week (on top of my novel work) and submitting them. The rejections are piling up, but so are the experience points, lol. You can't learn until you fail. And you can't fail until you actually write and let other people read it.

    There is a great quote that says "I hate writing. I love having written." I think that is accurate for a lot of writers. Actually doing the writing part is hard work, and scary. You will suck. You will be terrible. No amount of planning can fix that. But planning is easy. Planning is a safe zone. If you want to get better you HAVE to break out of the safe zone. No mentor will help you do that. You have to do that on your own.
     
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  17. Foah

    Foah Troubadour

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    To share some of my personal experience with writing with you OP:

    I have an idea that I love, that I want to have as my first finished novel/novella. I've had this idea since before I joined these forums. I have a written a grand total of almost 1,000 words on that project, during all these years.

    1,000 words in a couple of years. That's how devastating that idea has been to me.

    On the flip side, I learned to put that idea aside, for quite some time, and focus on reading and writing. Writing things for the sake of learning how to write, instead of writing the book I wanted to write. I have 1,000 words on my beloved manuscript, but I have nearly 250,000 words, and counting, on exercises and random scripts that I never intend to publish. Learn to let go, temporarily, of what you think you wanna write. Just write other things for now.
     
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