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(McSweeney's)   There are thousands of websites that offer great advice on how to write a novel. What we really need are more sites devoted to how NOT to write a novel. Like this one   (mcsweeneys.net) divider line 33
    More: Interesting, negative one, index card, novels  
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4205 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 16 Mar 2014 at 11:24 AM (18 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



33 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-03-16 11:38:07 AM
7. Tell everyone you are writing a novel.

This is good not advice.

If you're doing project of significant size, I've found it's best to tell as few people as possible. If you want to get demoralized during the process let your judgmental "friends" in on the idea you're working on something and when you stall out, as nearly all projects do at some point, you'll love the outright look of schadenfreude on their face, or the imagined judgment in your head when they ask how it's going. Either way, it sucks.
 
2014-03-16 11:38:47 AM
On the bright side he actually wrote something AND published it to a blog. That's worthy of something, isn't it?

/Wow the humour in that piece totally missed me.
//I'm assuming it's supposed to be humourous and the humour is simply lost on me in this case, not that it was supposed to be something else and that was also lost on me entirely.
 
2014-03-16 11:42:08 AM

Techhell: On the bright side he actually wrote something AND published it to a blog. That's worthy of something, isn't it?

/Wow the humour in that piece totally missed me.
//I'm assuming it's supposed to be humourous and the humour is simply lost on me in this case, not that it was supposed to be something else and that was also lost on me entirely.


You have written too much about this today.
 
2014-03-16 11:45:48 AM
I thought is pretty clever.
 
2014-03-16 11:47:56 AM
How about anyone who writes a novel gets death by hanging?

Techhell: On the bright side he actually wrote something AND published it to a blog. That's worthy of something, isn't it?

/Wow the humour in that piece totally missed me.
//I'm assuming it's supposed to be humourous and the humour is simply lost on me in this case, not that it was supposed to be something else and that was also lost on me entirely.


Its McSweeny's. They're serious about helping people commit suicide over there.
 
2014-03-16 11:49:50 AM
I thought it was pretty clever.  #8
 
2014-03-16 12:32:20 PM
I used to dream about writing a novel, until I realized that no matter how good my ideas or characters or plot, I just really really really don't like writing.  At all. I would rather have all my teeth pulled out and replaced with rusty metal spikes than sit down and write anything.

So all my brilliant ideas will die with me. Muahahaha.

Not for you.  Not yours.
 
2014-03-16 12:46:58 PM
img.fark.net
 
2014-03-16 12:59:42 PM
#11. Split infinitives in your title.
 
2014-03-16 01:36:42 PM
It was a Fark and brewski night, not so long ago, when MrHappyRotter looked up from the screen and exclaimed to himself and the cats, "I should do some laundry".  But the cats secretly knew it would never happen.  They had been plotting something truly nefarious for the evening, and for their plan to be successful, MrHappyRotter must end up . . . DEAD.
 
2014-03-16 01:58:23 PM
Let's start our own list since that list is a bad joke.

#1.  Have obligations.  FFS, I haven't even touched the one I'm working on in over a year because it's a very energy-intensive hobby and even if I haven't expended all my energy for the day working a very demanding job to pay the bills, I have family obligations that pull me away every goddamn half hour when it takes me that long just to get into a zone.  It's got all the frustration and exhaustion of a 50-mile commute through stop-and-go traffic.  At this point I'm just about ready to give up because there's no way this thing is happening unless I inherit enough money to retire or alienate my loved ones by moving into a mountain cave.
 
2014-03-16 02:52:40 PM
How you uh, how you comin' on that novel you're working on? Huh? Got a a big, uh, big stack of papers there? Got a, got a nice little story you're working on there? Your big novel you've been working on for three years? Huh? Got a, got a compelling protagonist? Yeah? Got a obstacle for him to overcome? Huh? Got a story brewing there? Working on, working on that for quite some time? Huh? Yeah, talking about that three years ago. Been working on that the whole time? Nice little narrative? Beginning, middle, and end? Some friends become enemies, some enemies become friends? At the end your main character is richer from the experience? Yeah? Yeah? No, no, you deserve some time off.
 
2014-03-16 02:57:10 PM

MayoSlather: 7. Tell everyone you are writing a novel.

This is good not advice.

If you're doing project of significant size, I've found it's best to tell as few people as possible. If you want to get demoralized during the process let your judgmental "friends" in on the idea you're working on something and when you stall out, as nearly all projects do at some point, you'll love the outright look of schadenfreude on their face, or the imagined judgment in your head when they ask how it's going. Either way, it sucks.


Or you could finish what you start and ignore your dumbass friends.
 
2014-03-16 03:07:03 PM

MayoSlather: 7. Tell everyone you are writing a novel.

This is good not advice.

If you're doing project of significant size, I've found it's best to tell as few people as possible. If you want to get demoralized during the process let your judgmental "friends" in on the idea you're working on something and when you stall out, as nearly all projects do at some point, you'll love the outright look of schadenfreude on their face, or the imagined judgment in your head when they ask how it's going. Either way, it sucks.


Are you making some kind of joke that involves painfully missing the point of this advice or are you just that dumb?
 
2014-03-16 03:31:38 PM
I am in the process of not writing a novel right now, so I'm really getting a kick out of this thread.
 
2014-03-16 03:37:46 PM

xnecron: MayoSlather: 7. Tell everyone you are writing a novel.

This is good not advice.

If you're doing project of significant size, I've found it's best to tell as few people as possible. If you want to get demoralized during the process let your judgmental "friends" in on the idea you're working on something and when you stall out, as nearly all projects do at some point, you'll love the outright look of schadenfreude on their face, or the imagined judgment in your head when they ask how it's going. Either way, it sucks.

Are you making some kind of joke that involves painfully missing the point of this advice or are you just that dumb?


You may be new to reading. Try it one word at a time and you'll see that he understood the article and was agreeing with it.
 
2014-03-16 04:09:27 PM
Everybody does have a book in them, but in most cases
that's where it should stay.
 
2014-03-16 04:19:03 PM
A Vietnam vet (just setting the age here) friend of mine is about to be published. He has led a wild and interesting life and his stories are great to hear.

Watch for books by Ranger Bill coming soon

/park ranger, not army
 
2014-03-16 04:48:50 PM
Anyone have a website they go to to publish chapters and get proofing/support from the community?
I'm looking for something more than just a blog.
 
2014-03-16 04:53:53 PM
The best line I have ever heard, I can't remember who said it, is a follows: "Almost every author has a great novel within them and that is exactly where it should stay."

I have followed this advice scrupulously my entire life.
 
2014-03-16 05:13:51 PM
Writing is hard work.
 
2014-03-16 05:21:35 PM

worlddan: The best line I have ever heard, I can't remember who said it, is a follows: "Almost every author has a great novel within them and that is exactly where it should stay."

I have followed this advice scrupulously my entire life.


So what you are saying is nobody wants to read a heartwarming novel about a young necrophiliac who finally achieves his boyhood ambition by becoming coroner.
 
2014-03-16 05:45:29 PM
I hear that you've been using your papers less for writing and more for rolling doobies!
 
2014-03-16 05:46:15 PM
James Patterson was hawking his new book on TV last night.
 
2014-03-16 06:27:39 PM

dragonchild: Let's start our own list since that list is a bad joke.

#1.  Have obligations.  FFS, I haven't even touched the one I'm working on in over a year because it's a very energy-intensive hobby and even if I haven't expended all my energy for the day working a very demanding job to pay the bills, I have family obligations that pull me away every goddamn half hour when it takes me that long just to get into a zone.  It's got all the frustration and exhaustion of a 50-mile commute through stop-and-go traffic.  At this point I'm just about ready to give up because there's no way this thing is happening unless I inherit enough money to retire or alienate my loved ones by moving into a mountain cave.


I did finish a novel. It spent 3 weeks on Amazon's Top 100 Crime Thrillers list as a self published ebook.

It's so hard to keep focused sometimes with work and family. I have to get up early, write during lunch, and sometimes selfishly zone out everything to finish a writing project.

It's a huge sacrifice to chase a nearly extinct dream. All I want is to walk into a book store and see something I wrote in there.

I just hope I'll make it before all the bookstores have disappeared.
 
2014-03-16 06:30:27 PM
cdnimg.visualizeus.com
Why not follow this easy flow chart?
 
2014-03-16 11:34:44 PM

Ambivalence: I used to dream about writing a novel, until I realized that no matter how good my ideas or characters or plot, I just really really really don't like writing.  At all. I would rather have all my teeth pulled out and replaced with rusty metal spikes than sit down and write anything.

So all my brilliant ideas will die with me. Muahahaha.

Not for you.  Not yours.


Don't give up! You, like me, should aim to become really fn' rich. Once rich, we can move to Hollywood and become "executive producers". We won't ever have to write anything substantial, but can merely tell our ideas to people we employ to write them.

Executive producer - my dream job.
 
2014-03-17 12:46:25 AM
Everyone potentially has a novel in them. I certainly do, as I just ate a copy of Watership Down. It tasted like chicken.
 
2014-03-17 06:39:16 AM

Techhell: On the bright side he actually wrote something AND published it to a blog. That's worthy of something, isn't it?

/Wow the humour in that piece totally missed me.
//I'm assuming it's supposed to be humourous and the humour is simply lost on me in this case, not that it was supposed to be something else and that was also lost on me entirely.


That was humour?

I've written two novels and those are the rules I followed.

No, they're not very good.
 
2014-03-17 08:58:10 AM

Shuna Sassi: Techhell: On the bright side he actually wrote something AND published it to a blog. That's worthy of something, isn't it?

/Wow the humour in that piece totally missed me.
//I'm assuming it's supposed to be humourous and the humour is simply lost on me in this case, not that it was supposed to be something else and that was also lost on me entirely.

That was humour?

I've written two novels and those are the rules I followed.

No, they're not very good.


This. It's not that I can't plow out a novel in a couple of weeks, it's just that they're not very good.
 
2014-03-17 09:06:48 AM

r1niceboy: I certainly do, as I just ate a copy of Watership Down. It tasted like chicken.


That's odd.  It's supposed to taste like rabbit.
 
2014-03-17 10:02:41 AM

MayoSlather: 7. Tell everyone you are writing a novel.

This is good not advice.

If you're doing project of significant size, I've found it's best to tell as few people as possible. If you want to get demoralized during the process let your judgmental "friends" in on the idea you're working on something and when you stall out, as nearly all projects do at some point, you'll love the outright look of schadenfreude on their face, or the imagined judgment in your head when they ask how it's going. Either way, it sucks.


True. Also, I've found that if you talk about something you get it out of your system and no longer feel the urge to work it out on paper.
 
2014-03-17 11:36:35 AM

dragonchild: Let's start our own list since that list is a bad joke.

#1.  Have obligations.  FFS, I haven't even touched the one I'm working on in over a year because it's a very energy-intensive hobby and even if I haven't expended all my energy for the day working a very demanding job to pay the bills, I have family obligations that pull me away every goddamn half hour when it takes me that long just to get into a zone.  It's got all the frustration and exhaustion of a 50-mile commute through stop-and-go traffic.  At this point I'm just about ready to give up because there's no way this thing is happening unless I inherit enough money to retire or alienate my loved ones by moving into a mountain cave.


I thought that list had a couple of really good jokes in there.

As far as having obligations, writing is like masturbation, if you really want to you'll find the time to do so.
 
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