Malazan Empire: Why do you write and how much do you think about being published? - Malazan Empire

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Why do you write and how much do you think about being published?

#1 User is offline   Aimless 

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 08:07 PM

A discussion on another forum got me wondering about 1. what motivates you guys to write, and 2. how concerned you are with publishing and related issues.

One poster makes the following observation about her own attitudes:

Quote

Fantasy is a popular genre. A lot of people who write it are probably writing it just for fun and don't want to think about publication, because the various requirements and restrictions there just aren't something they set out to deal with when they started writing.

Me, I avoid thinking about it as much as possible, because as soon as I let expectations and anxieties about the future into my brain, I can't write at all, much less enjoy doing it. I would rather continue to write and enjoy writing and never be published, than make myself miserable contemplating that I must do this or that according to the rules of the genre and the market if I want be published. I have tried thinking this way and the results were terrible enough that I don't want to risk it happening again.

As for gauging how much others may appreciate it, well, there are discussions like this one that can give you a sense of what people look for, and there's gathering one's own understanding of what's good and what works. There's always the option of asking for direct feedback from other fantasy writers and readers. There's a lot of information out there on what should and shouldn't be done. But when I say "I want to write something that could be considered good," I mean I want to write something good and be able to share it with others, not that I want to actually be called "good" by the world.

And I'm not deluding myself with the idea that I don't write for other people. I just prefer to keep those other people largely distant and hypothetical, or I fall into the trap of thinking about them while I'm trying to write. I would appreciate being called "good" by the world, but it's just not a priority, and I couldn't make it one even if I wanted to.


You guys are fantasy writers, whaddaya say? :(

-- P
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#2 User is offline   Aptorian 

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 08:11 PM

I write. A little bit anyway. I write because I have an idea in my head for what I think could be a great story. Or a series of stories even. I can't not work on it. It's always in the back of my mind really.
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#3 User is offline   Primateus 

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 08:49 PM

View PostAptorian, on 15 August 2010 - 08:11 PM, said:

I write. A little bit anyway. I write because I have an idea in my head for what I think could be a great story. Or a series of stories even. I can't not work on it. It's always in the back of my mind really.


This is pretty much the same as with me. I'm writing a story (well, trying to anyway) with a buddy of mine. Though I'm not sure I'd want it to be published if that would even be possible. My writing pretty much sucks.
Screw you all, and have a nice day!

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#4 User is offline   Puck 

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 10:06 PM

There are rules to the fantasy genre? What would these be, I wonder? Sorry, but the 'rules of the genre' in the quoted post strikes me as somewhat odd.. I never thought about some kind of.. rules or something when it came to fantasy..

Anyway, I used to write a lot more than I do now, but I haven't given it up completely, I'm just in the process of changing the way I want to tell stories. I still keep notes on the ideas that come to my mind. Back when I used to write regularly I did it because I enjoyed the stories I thought up and wanted to give them shape. I never thought about wanting to publish what I wrote. I do now, but the way I want the stories to be told changed.
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#5 User is offline   SpectreofEschaton 

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 03:06 AM

I write because...it's satisfying to go back and read something I've written. The actual writing can be a headache, sometimes.

I'd love to be published someday, but I don't write with that in mind. Plus, that involves actually finishing stories...
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#6 User is offline   Ain't_It_Just_ 

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 05:30 AM

I write for the names. The people, places, objects, timeframes, etc. that can be labelled whatever I want. Give them meaning and stuff.
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#7 User is offline   Primateus 

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 10:23 AM

Yeah, rules for writing fantasy? What are these rules? This I'd like to hear!
Screw you all, and have a nice day!

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#8 User is offline   Use Of Weapons 

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 10:45 AM

I write because I have ideas. Ideas that I don't see in books I read, and that I think deserve exploration. If someone came to me and said, 'Hey, can I have an idea to develop into a book?' I'd happily give them away, but as that never happens, I'm going to have to do the hard work myself. Ideas are easy, execution is hard (all that blood).

Publication -- if I ever finish a novel, I'll submit it. Not really interested in publishing short fiction, though I've finished lots of short stories. Novels are where my interest lies.

I don't really think about 'what the market wants' when I'm writing, because my writing is ideas-driven. I do try to avoid clich as much as possible.


Re: the rules of the genre -- by this I understood the post to mean the rules of publication/submission, rather than any rules that may be applied to the worlds depicted.
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#9 User is offline   Grimjust Bearegular 

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 05:11 PM

View PostSpectreofEschaton, on 16 August 2010 - 03:06 AM, said:

I write because...it's satisfying to go back and read something I've written. The actual writing can be a headache, sometimes.

I'd love to be published someday, but I don't write with that in mind. Plus, that involves actually finishing stories...


I write beacause I feel I have something worth saying, which may be worth reading.


Also, what he said.
Things and stuffs...and other important objects.
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#10 User is offline   Fist Gamet 

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 11:23 PM

I write because I love to write. I can't ever imagine not writing now I have been doing it for so many years. It is a big part of my life. I never write for the aim of being published although I intend to do my damndest to get published one day. I have in fact decided to start the Open Uni creative writing modules as part of my English Lit degree next month because I will do all I can to become a better writer with every passing year. Still, I will never let it be the reason I write as I believe it will kill the sheer creative joy I get in watching my world and characters come to life in front of me.

When the poster mentioned the rules I had assumed he meant having to build your story within the confines of a standard structure of plot that publishers know will sell to make them money - you know, protagonist must overcome series of obstacles to overcome the antagonist / good v evil / correct pacing / dont try anything different kind of thing. Well, you get the idea.
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#11 User is offline   goldmill 

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 02:15 AM

Like others, I write because I have stories I feel need to be told. However, I do have a very clear goal of getting published one day. I don't write with the mindset of making my work publishable though. I write with the mindset of making it the best I possibly can.
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#12 User is offline   Use Of Weapons 

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 09:36 AM

View Postgoldmill, on 18 August 2010 - 02:15 AM, said:

Like others, I write because I have stories I feel need to be told. However, I do have a very clear goal of getting published one day. I don't write with the mindset of making my work publishable though. I write with the mindset of making it the best I possibly can.


THIS
It is perfectly monstrous the way people go about nowadays saying things against one, behind one's back, that are absolutely and entirely true.
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#13 User is offline   Dolmen 2.0 

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 01:22 PM

I write because I want to create. writting and
drafting ideas down on Parchment in Plans and
all over canvas is a Part of who I am.
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#14 User is offline   TheSurvivor 

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 01:10 AM

I write because even if I wanted to I could never stop my mind from making a story idea out of just about everything I see. Maybe I exaggerate but it's to prove a point. On the topic of publishing; I don't write around the idea but I am currently looking to publish a novel I wrote.
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#15 User is offline   Erik Raditzky 

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 01:00 PM

I have much the same problem, I get ideas and start jotting them down, I have pages of character names, cities, countries, I've even drawn some maps up for these places and started writing little bits of backround or even a prologue and maybe sometimes a chapter or two. But! then I end up getting another idea and start jotting that down, I need help getting my ideas sorted and being able to focus on one story at a time. I write mainly because I enjoy creating characters and worlds for interesting stuff to happen in. Also, I started stories when I was 8, but back then they were all based around star wars or some film or tv show I used to watch and I jsut did them in my head at night to try and keep me occupuied until i fell asleep.
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#16 User is offline   TheSurvivor 

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 02:24 AM

View PostErik Raditzky, on 06 September 2010 - 01:00 PM, said:

I have much the same problem, I get ideas and start jotting them down, I have pages of character names, cities, countries, I've even drawn some maps up for these places and started writing little bits of backround or even a prologue and maybe sometimes a chapter or two. But! then I end up getting another idea and start jotting that down, I need help getting my ideas sorted and being able to focus on one story at a time. I write mainly because I enjoy creating characters and worlds for interesting stuff to happen in. Also, I started stories when I was 8, but back then they were all based around star wars or some film or tv show I used to watch and I jsut did them in my head at night to try and keep me occupuied until i fell asleep.



Oh god, I know what you mean about being unable to focus on one story. I have, oh I'm not sure, five stories going right now? Probably more. Just can't keep the mind from wandering. Kinda creepy too; reading your paragraph was like reliving my past right down to the "occupied until I fell asleep" bit.
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#17 User is offline   Bauchelain the Evil 

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 09:03 AM

Yeah it's the same with me. I have these great idea( in my opinion, of course) and start developing them and then somer others idea pop out and I like them even more but they have no connection with the other idea,etc.
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#18 User is offline   Satan 

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 08:12 PM

Do all of you write only fantasy? Similarly to many other hear, I make up stories in my head which I personally think would make for a cracking book (or, in my case, movies). But only one of the three stories I'm toying with now is fantasy in genre.
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#19 User is offline   Defiance 

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 08:24 PM

I write fantasy. Most of my writing happens on a play-by-post RPing site. Basically, someone makes a topic doing whatever, and other people join. Each post is generally a few paragraphs long, and the posters work together to make a story. I really enjoy it.

I do have a few unique ideas for a fantasy series floating around in my mind. I really need to start developing the world for it, since I want to become a published author someday.

View PostBrynjar, on 07 September 2010 - 08:12 PM, said:

Do all of you write only fantasy? Similarly to many other hear, I make up stories in my head which I personally think would make for a cracking book (or, in my case, movies). But only one of the three stories I'm toying with now is fantasy in genre.


Well, I had an idea the other day for a sci-fi comedy. It'd be a movie script, though. Basically, Jesus was a time traveller. Some guy in the future when there were time machines decided to go back in time and see if Jesus was real. He got there and couldn't find Jesus, so decided to do everything that Christ did in the Bible. Jesus would be played by Samuel L. Jackson. "Hebrew motherfucker, do you speak it?!" "I've had it with all these motherfuckin' Romans in this motherfuckin' town!" The movie would begin with a disclaimer, saying: Marijuana may or may not have been involved in the development of this movie.
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#20 User is offline   Satan 

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 08:58 PM

View PostDefiance, on 07 September 2010 - 08:24 PM, said:

Jesus would be played by Samuel L. Jackson. "Hebrew motherfucker, do you speak it?!"


hhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! Write it! WRITE IT!!
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