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 Help! Writer in Need of Assistance!

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PostSubject: Re: Help! Writer in Need of Assistance!   Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:17 pm

Yeah I agree with Gobble. To purposely make a chapter longer/shorter might make it seem a little awkward. A natural break is best, I think. And I've read plenty of novels that have a variation in chapter length and it has never bothered me.
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PostSubject: Re: Help! Writer in Need of Assistance!   Thu Mar 19, 2009 3:04 am

I agree with the others, Daeonica. there is absolutely no need for chapters to be of even length. I have some single-scene chapters as short as 2k-2.5k and some multi-scene ones as long as 8 or 9k, with an average of maybe 4-5k. Each chapter (even where, as is usually the case, it conists of two or more separate scenes) has some unifying theme or some complete event or sequence of events, tying it together - or at least that's the theory! But I break where the scene natutally ends, and never by counting the words.

The exception is if you are writing for (or targeting) a particular 'category' series, some of which have very specific guidleines, not only about overall word count but also about things like chapter length.
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PostSubject: Re: Help! Writer in Need of Assistance!   Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:48 am

Daeonica - excellent question, this always has me stumped too - thanks for the advice ladies! I agree, i guess length has to correspond with the flow of the writing and the events.

What do people think of scene breaks in chapters? I'm a fan of philippa gregory (a historical fiction writer) and she using scene breaks seaminglessly to make the story move along.

I was considering using a scenebreak at end of every chapter of my first person narative to slip into universal narator but i wonder would this disrup the flow?

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PostSubject: Re: Help! Writer in Need of Assistance!   Thu Mar 26, 2009 7:59 am

emilycross wrote:
I was considering using a scenebreak at end of every chapter of my first person narative to slip into universal narator but i wonder would this disrup the flow?

No, I think this is a great idea and would most likely help the flow. As I mentioned in another post The Mortal Instruments books change POVs all the time with almost no warning and until you get used to it its very difficult to navigate. But having a defined way you do it consistently is what will help the reader adjust to what you are trying to write to them.
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PostSubject: Re: Help! Writer in Need of Assistance!   Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:39 pm

I thought I'd post this here, too, as it's a good opportunity to ask published authors how they've dealt with the tricky things.

The newest Deadline Dames post is giving readers the chance to ask the Dames (who are all published (and bestselling) or soon to be published authors) any questions.

So, go ahead and pick something difficult to ask them about! Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Help! Writer in Need of Assistance!   Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:06 pm

Ack, ack, ack, ack, ack, ack, ack, ack, ack, ACK!

Ever have one of those times when you're convinced that, even though your writing is good, your plot is hackneyed and overdone and stupid and bad and all-around stupid? One of those moments when you're sure that anybody reading your story is going to yawn and put it down because it's so...blah?

Okay, people. I'm totally there. Somebody tell me that my story doesn't suck...!

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PostSubject: Re: Help! Writer in Need of Assistance!   Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:41 pm

NOVEL!!!!!! it does not suck!! your a brilliant writer. we all go through these moments. take a deep breath and remember your one of the most talented writers i know!

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PostSubject: Re: Help! Writer in Need of Assistance!   Mon Apr 13, 2009 5:52 pm

Thanks. Needed that. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Help! Writer in Need of Assistance!   Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:44 am

I'm STUMPED. I wrote out a fantastic synopsis and now I'm just like... uh hu... /distracted.

I don't want to start in the beginning, can I just jump to the fun parts?? I've never written anything out of order before!! *sob*
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PostSubject: Re: Help! Writer in Need of Assistance!   Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:01 pm

Whats the synopsis? Maybe give us a little more detail and we might be able to help?

i believe SM did that with TW, she just got to the good parts and filled in the other parts. Maybe it might help you to do that for maybe one scene?

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PostSubject: Re: Help! Writer in Need of Assistance!   Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:32 pm

Maybe I'll write the scene I want to write... and... if I'm still stuck I'll come bug you again?? (bats eyelashes)
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PostSubject: Re: Help! Writer in Need of Assistance!   Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:48 pm

Oh Daaaaarliing, any time *waves hand in ladee da way*

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PostSubject: Re: Help! Writer in Need of Assistance!   Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:04 pm

Very Happy I'm also having genre issues... I think I should just toss out my inhibitions and start writing. Where's some good wine when you need it...
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PostSubject: Re: Help! Writer in Need of Assistance!   Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:06 pm

emilycross wrote:
Whats the synopsis? Maybe give us a little more detail and we might be able to help?

i believe SM did that with TW, she just got to the good parts and filled in the other parts. Maybe it might help you to do that for maybe one scene?
*butts into conversation*

Oh, yes! I was reading something about that. I believe she started in the middle, finished through to the end, then wrote the beginning up until the ends met. Smile

Wait, SM stands for Stephenie Meyer, right? I have to learn all of the abbreviations on here. ._.
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PostSubject: Re: Help! Writer in Need of Assistance!   Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:09 pm

Haha, yes. SM stands for Stephenie Meyer. TW is Twilight, NM is New Moon, and BD is Breaking Dawn. Smile

Maybe I should do a guide to the forum abbreviations or something. Ha.

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PostSubject: Re: Help! Writer in Need of Assistance!   Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:11 pm

Novel-Goddess wrote:
Haha, yes. SM stands for Stephenie Meyer. TW is Twilight, NM is New Moon, and BD is Breaking Dawn. Smile

Maybe I should do a guide to the forum abbreviations or something. Ha.
Haha, no, I think I'm just slow. Razz

And I have that same problem, sometimes. I just get into certain moods when I want to do an action scene or a romance scene or a funny scene. So, I write the particular chapter, then go back to my chronological chapters. And...that's why I have fifty pages on Word of random chapters that I will eventually have to add to the rest of my story. ^_^;
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PostSubject: Re: Help! Writer in Need of Assistance!   Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:13 pm

missjulie wrote:
Very Happy I'm also having genre issues... I think I should just toss out my inhibitions and start writing. Where's some good wine when you need it...

I wouldn't worry about genre before you've even written it. Don't try and write a story to fit a certain genre - write the story the way it needs to be told, with the things you want to have in it, and then at the end you'll be able to work out which genre. A huge amount of books fit in several different categories, too, so don't worry about it.

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PostSubject: Re: Help! Writer in Need of Assistance!   Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:16 pm

daeonica wrote:
missjulie wrote:
Very Happy I'm also having genre issues... I think I should just toss out my inhibitions and start writing. Where's some good wine when you need it...

I wouldn't worry about genre before you've even written it. Don't try and write a story to fit a certain genre - write the story the way it needs to be told, with the things you want to have in it, and then at the end you'll be able to work out which genre. A huge amount of books fit in several different categories, too, so don't worry about it.
It's true. Smile Usually whenever I write, all of my stories/short stories/fiction stuff fits into at least two genres. Like, right now, I'm writing a Romance-Fantasy novel, so that's two categories right there. But, sometimes it's action-y and sometimes it's kind of funny. >_<; And then I get all scrambled up.
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PostSubject: Re: Help! Writer in Need of Assistance!   Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:31 pm

I've never written romance before... I hope I'm doing this right... I've only written general fiction and smut!
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PostSubject: Re: Help! Writer in Need of Assistance!   Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:57 pm

You shouldn't wonder if you're doing it right. It's your story, so you can make it however you choose. Everyone has their own ideas of how their story should go. However your story works out is just your way of writing it. There's no set layout that it has to be in. Just do whatever you want with it. ^_^
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PostSubject: Re: Help! Writer in Need of Assistance!   Thu Apr 16, 2009 8:17 am

Thanks you guys!! I did what y'all said and just jumped to the good part! Yay!! Its actually almost done, I just have to connect two parts.... I'm going to post it in the share your work forum when its done ^.^
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PostSubject: Re: Help! Writer in Need of Assistance!   Sun May 03, 2009 5:02 am

Miss Julie - your banner is Fab!!!!!!!

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PostSubject: Re: Help! Writer in Need of Assistance!   Sun May 24, 2009 9:22 pm

Help! Somebody! Anybody! Somebody come save me from these stupid plot snags in The Silent Halls! Gaaaaah!

Um. That is all.

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PostSubject: Re: Help! Writer in Need of Assistance!   Mon May 25, 2009 6:18 am

Aww, hope it's not too bad, Novel!

I'm not sure if you want actual help, or if you're just sharing about the problem, but I could read some//all of it and tell you what I think, if you wanted. Just if you wanted, though.

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PostSubject: Re: Help! Writer in Need of Assistance!   Wed Jul 01, 2009 12:19 pm

This is probably a silly question and quite possibly obvious but I am not sure if single spaced or double spaced is better. I know it probably doesn't matter while I am writing, but in the future does it make a difference? Sorry if that was a dumb question. Embarassed
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