FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagramTumblrGoogleYouTube
 
 
RSS Feed Print
1 novel published, more to come...
dhawker7
Posted: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 8:12 AM
Joined: 1/27/2015
Posts: 14


Hello everyone,

My name is Dan, I am 40 yrs old. I am married to my beautiful wife Cindy and I am actively pursuing a career in writing, but I know that's an uphill climb. I am new to this web site but not new to writing. I've been writing short stories off and on since I was 14. I recently decided to get back into writing because I had an idea for a story one day and started jotting it down in an email to myself. 6 months later it was finished and published and I couldn't be happier. I was so proud of myself for actually finishing one of my story ideas. I haven't sold many copies, but that's ok because I knew that going in. It's not about selling something to me... it's about creating a world where the reader can be transported to and be immersed in the character's lives. My first book is a story about dwarves, a gem containing a dark, evil entity that was buried for centuries beneath their city and the quest to get it back after their king was mortally wounded during its theft. It is called The Gem of Zyenar
It has mistakes / errors in it but they are few and far between. I realize now what I did wrong and have made corrections within my own writing process to get better so that I don't repeat what I had done before. I am currently working on my 2nd novel which I plan on turning into a trilogy. It's called "Ascension to Hell" and it follows a young man on his quest for self discovery and adventure. It's about the choices we make in life and their effects / consequences on others. I plan on having it published later this year. For an excerpt click this link: Ascension to Hell excerpt

I'd love to hear what you all think. 


Thanks... 

D.R. Hawker


Lucy Silag - Book Country Community Manager
Posted: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 12:02 PM
Joined: 6/7/2013
Posts: 1359


Hey there @dhawker7! Welcome to Book Country!

 

I'm excited for you to connect with other fantasy writers and readers here in the community. Are you planning to review another writer's work so that you can upload excerpts of your own writing for feedback here on the site? I hope you will! Let me know if you need help!

 

Lucy


Jay Greenstein
Posted: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 11:49 PM

Well, you asked for opinion, but the forum isn't the place to talk about the writing, so I'll just suggest a few things that might improve the writing and garner a better reader response. 

 

 First, for POV and why it's needed:  https://jaygreenstein.wordpress.com/2011/09/22/the-grumpy-writing-coach-8/

For what we're trying to do for the reader:   https://jaygreenstein.wordpress.com/2014/09/14/a-mirror-for-the-mind-the-grump-writing-coach/

 And for a really good background in the nuts and bolts of creating scenes and stories that will sing to the reader, pick up a copy of Dwight Swain's, Techniques of the Selling Writer.

--edited by Jay Greenstein on 1/29/2015, 12:45 AM--


dhawker7
Posted: Wednesday, January 28, 2015 7:32 AM
Joined: 1/27/2015
Posts: 14


I'm sorry Jay,
I thought this was a forum to talk about fantasy fiction. I wrote some fantasy fiction and I was looking for some feedback on it which is how I came to this site from a link on my publisher's web site.

 

If this isn't a forum to talk about writing then what is it for? Let's talk about cooking or politics or video games... since this isn't a forum to talk about writing... 

 

I'm sorry I ever came to this web site. I mean, the forum is located in the "DISCUSSIONS" section of the web site and it's titled "FANTASY" and the subheading says this:

 

Talk about everything and anything related to the fantasy genre here.


So forgive me if I was mistaken in thinking that I could talk about FANTASY BOOKS/STORIES in the 'discussion' section of a WRITING web site...

 

 


Lucy Silag - Book Country Community Manager
Posted: Wednesday, January 28, 2015 3:31 PM
Joined: 6/7/2013
Posts: 1359


Hi Dan--

 

Yes, you're right that anything and everything about the fantasy genre can be discussed right here.

 

Jay, were you just trying to share some links to writing tutorial content on your blog? Seems like we might have a miscommunication here.

 

Not to worry! Let me know if I can help clarify, and again, Dan, we're glad you are here on Book Country. I hope you will share some of your work with the community!

 

Lucy

 


Jay Greenstein
Posted: Thursday, January 29, 2015 12:49 AM

No, the point is that the forums are not the place to discuss someone's writing, and any problems it may have. In fact, that point's pretty well true in any on line writers site because the forums are public, while a posted chapter in the writing section is a direct reply to the author.

 

I looked at the work, and saw some structural things that have to be addressed, and provided the website addresses to articles and books on the subject that would help. Yes, some of them are mine, things I did for one of my publisher's newsletters. So what? They're not tutorials, only articles on points of craft that show the necessity of learning to handle those issues. I don't make any money when people read them. Nor am I selling any services there.

 

Unfortunately, as always, what I placed on individual lines, and which looked okay on the page when it was posted, was crapped up when I looked today, making the links and the post unreadable. And the link creator is still missing the post button, so I had to include the actual URL—which isn't recognized as a link by the site software. =sigh=

Lucy Silag - Book Country Community Manager
Posted: Thursday, January 29, 2015 9:27 AM
Joined: 6/7/2013
Posts: 1359


Okay, Jay, thanks for clarifying.

 

@Dan, let us know when you post your work here on Book Country--that will make it much smoother for folks to give you specific feedback on the manuscript itself, and I think that will make the feedback more useful to you.


dhawker7
Posted: Friday, January 30, 2015 2:01 PM
Joined: 1/27/2015
Posts: 14


Sure Lucy,

Not sure if i'm going to do that at this point. My first book (fantasy fiction) that I wrote was a milestone for me because it was the first novel that I actually finished and published. After re-reading it myself and getting a real review done, I saw the errors that I made, which were minimal, and I have made improvements in my writing style and the process as a whole to improve on those areas.

 

I was directed to this site via my publisher to interact and connect with fellow writers. Here, I thought we could talk about the craft, our ideas, likes, dislikes, life, whatever and a place where I could quite possibly make a name for myself and get my works out there. 

 

My 2nd novel is not in manuscript stage yet as I'm still working on the outline and mapping out my narrative. 

 

I apologize if I'm in the wrong forum or the wrong site entirely. Jay may have had good intentions, I'm just not sure if this is the place I should be.

 

I want to help everyone to improve on their writing and unlock their creativity. I just can't thrive and flourish in an environment filled with negativity.

 

I respect you Lucy and your web site and what you're doing here. I will move on and hope that you all find that novel inside you and share it with the world.

 

Thanks for the time,

D.R. Hawker


Lucy Silag - Book Country Community Manager
Posted: Friday, January 30, 2015 6:23 PM
Joined: 6/7/2013
Posts: 1359


Hi Dan--the ways you describe using the site are exactly what Book Country is for. I hope you'll take a look around, browse other writers' books and profiles, and start to connect with a community of folks. If you decide to stick around and accept my connection request, I can recommend some other great Fantasy writers here on the site.
Mimi Speike
Posted: Friday, January 30, 2015 6:51 PM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 1014


I guess D.R. has flown the coop, but I'll say this. I've looked at the excerpt of Ascension To Hell, and I see too many problems to deal with in these forums. Jay is quite right, it needs to be posted officially and discussed in depth. D.R., if  you are really interested in making it the best it can be, put up more than the excerpt if you have it ready, and stand back. This is the place to get thoughtful, in-depth comments. You have indeed come to the right place.

 

--edited by Mimi Speike on 1/30/2015, 6:51 PM--


Jay Greenstein
Posted: Saturday, January 31, 2015 11:22 AM

I was afraid this would happen, because he wasn't seeking help, or company who shared his interests. In reality, his post was spam—an attempt to get a few customers for his existing book. His claim that his publisher recommended this site as a place to meet other writers is nonsense, because the book was self-published, through BookBaby, a site that claims they can help you become successful by promoting your work. In reality, they do no more than convert a word processor file to ebook format and list it on Amazon and Smashwords (which gives distribution through B&N, etc.) They don't edit. The writing isn't looked at to see if it's written competently. It's just converted and released, for $199.

 

Somewhere in the package they sent him, it told him to join online writers sites and become a presence, because people would look at his book and buy it. So there he was, bright and chipper announcing that the mistakes in his work were few and far between, when it reality he hadn't taken even the first baby-steps to learn anything more than the nonfiction writing skills we all learn in school, and had a manuscript that would have been rejected before the end of the first paragraph.

 

I find that so sad. With a bit of knowledge and mentoring it might turn out that he's awash with writing talent. But sites like BookBaby pander to the misconception that our high school English writing skills are all that's needed, and  take advantage of the hopes and dreams of people whose only sin is a sincere desire to entertain with their stories.

 

That stinks.


Mimi Speike
Posted: Saturday, January 31, 2015 3:01 PM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 1014


The writing in that excerpt is not ready for prime time. But I guess we have to let him figure that out for himself.

 

--edited by Mimi Speike on 2/1/2015, 1:10 PM--


dhawker7
Posted: Monday, February 2, 2015 5:55 PM
Joined: 1/27/2015
Posts: 14


Hello again,
Let me clear the air on a few things....

 

First off, I didn't come here from a recommendation from Bookbaby. I never said they were the publisher that sent me. I did go through them to publish my first book, but I have since changed publishers and it is this new one (which will remain nameless, for now) that referred me to this site. 

 

Second, I didn't come here looking to sell my first book or to promote myself. I just merely put the links out there so you all could see what I had done up to this point. 

 

Third, I am not the next Stephen King nor am I horrible at writing. What you read of "Ascension" is not even a manuscript... it's actually taken from the outline which I am still working on. I haven't even begun the actual WRITING process for this book. 

 

I don't give a rat's a$$ if anyone buys my first book at all. I knew that when I was writing the outline for that book... the chances of people actually buying it to where I'd even make like $100 was non-existant. I came here hoping to connect to people who have had success with writing, could see talent within me and help me to cultivate it and mold it into a decent writer. 

 

I was NOT spewing spam not looking for a handout. I suggest that you get to know someone a little better before you start talking crap about them. I never said anything about you. I came here looking for help. If all I get is the typical drama trolls that live on message boards, then I'll go somewhere else.

 

Never judge a book by its cover. 


Mimi Speike
Posted: Monday, February 2, 2015 6:48 PM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 1014


We've misunderstood you. I'm sorry for that. Put up a few chapters. I'd love to see them. Your excerpt is actually a treatment. Now I get it.

 

--edited by Mimi Speike on 2/2/2015, 6:53 PM--


Jay Greenstein
Posted: Monday, February 2, 2015 9:16 PM

Let's begin with the most important point. I didn't tell you what you wanted to hear. I told you what you needed to know. And though there are others, too, I'm one of those you say you wanted to meet. I owned a manuscript critiquing service, and I've been at this for a lot of years.

 

Those links I gave you were the most gentle way I had to tell you that you're missing the vast majority of the craft and knowledge that the pros take for granted. It's not a matter of talent and potential, or even good or bad writing. It's that at the moment you're telling the reader a story exactly as you would were you with them. It's what we all do when we begin because it's what we were trained to do, and spent decades practicing. You're focusing on making the reader know the details of plot and Story. And that capital S is deliberate. But story lives in the hopes and dreams of your characters, in their struggle and their necessities and compromises.

 

The reader of a horror story isn't hoping to learn that the character feels terror. They want you to terrorize them. They want to be made to live the story as a shadow of the protagonist, knowing what that character knows, as-they-know-it, in real-time. They want to be given reason to worry. And that cannot be done with the author-centric and fact-based writing skills we learn in school because they're designed to inform, not entertain. And any story written with them will be exactly as entertaining a history book, no matter how sincere the writer, and how dedicated they are. Fiction has the goal to entertaining the reader with an emotional experience, and that requires an emotion-based and character-centric approach.

 

Learning this is a terrible blow to any writer, especially given the amount of work you've put into your writing so far. But it is not a reflection on you, so you cannot react to a critique, or criticism as if it was a personal attack. Someone you don't know took the time to try to help you become a better writer. They granted your wish. You didn't hear what you hoped or wanted to hear. So what? Critiques never are. But one of the first lessons a writer must learn is that if you accept praise you have no choice but to accept criticism with exactly the same enthusiasm.

 

You made it a point to excuse the writing of the second story as being rough. But rough isn't the problem. The nonfiction approach to writing is. And fixing that needs to be at the top on your "to do" list, because if you don't know the nuance of POV your characters cannot be more than plot devices—smart when the plot needs intelligence and dumb when that's needed. If you aren't familiar with how a scene on the page differs from one in film and stage, can you write one? If you don't know why we end scenes with a disaster for the protagonist, or what function the scene-goal plays, will you take them into account?

 

No one here attacked you or wishes you anything but success. I strongly suggest that you push reset, dial the ego-meter to zero, and start over.  And follow those links I gave you, to give you a better understanding of the task. Then pick up that Dwight Swain book I suggested, It is the best I've found, and has the power to fast-track you to the knowledge and skills you need.

 

In reality, if you don't set aside time and a few dollars with which to acquire your writer's education, can you call yourself a serious writer?


Lucy Silag - Book Country Community Manager
Posted: Tuesday, February 3, 2015 10:25 AM
Joined: 6/7/2013
Posts: 1359


Alright, folks, let's dial it back here. I think it's time for a reset.

 

I am going to close this thread to further replies.

 

Dan, will you go over to this board and post an introduction? That is actually where folks are supposed to introduce themselves.

 

Members can post links to books they've published here.

 

Book Country members can get feedback on their work by posting it for peer review. Dan, let me know if you want help doing that. Trying to get feedback on an excerpt not posted here is always too tricky for it to really work well for anyone, reviewer or writer.

 

Everyone should refrain from attempting to give another member feedback, however well-intentioned, on a book that is posted on another site.

 

Furthermore, feedback on Book Country is more effective and helpful when it is given as a peer rather than didactically. It behooves all of us to remember that we came here to be part of a community, and in a community, we treat each other as equals. Nothing on this thread is outside the Community Guidelines, but I still feel the need to intervene as the dynamic feels uncomfortable to me.

 

Questions? Need help? Email me at Lucy@BookCountry.com or send me a PM.

 

 


 

Jump to different Forum...