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My husband said i should log out of GLP and finally write my book, so I made this thread. 48k words - almost half!

 
green_girl  (OP)

User ID: 49871189
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12/10/2013 01:51 PM
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Re: My husband said i should log out of GLP and finally write my book, so I made this thread. 48k words - almost half!
Love these as well

Most of these Stephen King quotes were taken from this book.

1. “Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.”


 Quoting: Black Unit


I disagree with that one.....good for him but, I actively use a thesaurus with great results.

To each their own I guess.
 Quoting: --Voltaic--


That is a really good point! I can't say i use mine frequently, but i do use it. My thoughts on it are that is makes a great tool. Word repetition is bad in writing. Once you have used a word, and want to use it again in the same few paragraphs, you need to look to see if there is another way to say it. Substituting a word that way can save it. Sometimes I want to say something, only to look at it and realize it has been said exactly that way in a hundred other books, so i will want to look at changing it. A thesaurus is a great way to do it. Takes it from being a cliche.
On the other hand, i refuse to use the thesaurus to make myself look smart, lol. My writing has to be me, to a certain extent. If i am using my thesaurus to change up normal, every day words into their fancier counterparts, then my writing is no longer me, just who i wish i would be, lol.
So it has its uses, but i have a line i wont cross with it.
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Illogiklylogical

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12/10/2013 01:59 PM
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Re: My husband said i should log out of GLP and finally write my book, so I made this thread. 48k words - almost half!
Are you going to add any "comet" elements or any of the theories from GLP?
"My hair's turning white, My neck's always been red, and My collar's still blue..."
green_girl  (OP)

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12/10/2013 02:02 PM
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Re: My husband said i should log out of GLP and finally write my book, so I made this thread. 48k words - almost half!
Are you going to add any "comet" elements or any of the theories from GLP?
 Quoting: Illogiklylogical


lol. well, the colour green is a recurring theme in the book. I had intended for there to be a green comet in the sky as an omen, but not sure if that element will remain in the finished version. It was just part of a "green" brainstorming session to think of ways to keep the thread of green consistent throughout all the books. Sort of the way the colour red was used in the sixth sense.

I have seen a few user names on here that i thought would make interesting character names. Naming people has always been my weakest point.
:malefav:
I love this place!!
Illogiklylogical

User ID: 33691300
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12/10/2013 02:11 PM
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Re: My husband said i should log out of GLP and finally write my book, so I made this thread. 48k words - almost half!
Are you going to add any "comet" elements or any of the theories from GLP?
 Quoting: Illogiklylogical


lol. well, the colour green is a recurring theme in the book. I had intended for there to be a green comet in the sky as an omen, but not sure if that element will remain in the finished version. It was just part of a "green" brainstorming session to think of ways to keep the thread of green consistent throughout all the books. Sort of the way the colour red was used in the sixth sense.

I have seen a few user names on here that i thought would make interesting character names. Naming people has always been my weakest point.
 Quoting: green_girl


Awesome! Can't wait to read it!
"My hair's turning white, My neck's always been red, and My collar's still blue..."
Illogiklylogical

User ID: 33691300
United States
12/10/2013 02:14 PM
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Re: My husband said i should log out of GLP and finally write my book, so I made this thread. 48k words - almost half!
Are you going to add any "comet" elements or any of the theories from GLP?
 Quoting: Illogiklylogical


lol. well, the colour green is a recurring theme in the book. I had intended for there to be a green comet in the sky as an omen, but not sure if that element will remain in the finished version. It was just part of a "green" brainstorming session to think of ways to keep the thread of green consistent throughout all the books. Sort of the way the colour red was used in the sixth sense.

I have seen a few user names on here that i thought would make interesting character names. Naming people has always been my weakest point.
 Quoting: green_girl


Awesome! Can't wait to read it!
 Quoting: Illogiklylogical


PS Love the new sig. lmfao!
"My hair's turning white, My neck's always been red, and My collar's still blue..."
green_girl  (OP)

User ID: 49871189
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12/10/2013 02:31 PM
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Re: My husband said i should log out of GLP and finally write my book, so I made this thread. 48k words - almost half!
Are you going to add any "comet" elements or any of the theories from GLP?
 Quoting: Illogiklylogical


lol. well, the colour green is a recurring theme in the book. I had intended for there to be a green comet in the sky as an omen, but not sure if that element will remain in the finished version. It was just part of a "green" brainstorming session to think of ways to keep the thread of green consistent throughout all the books. Sort of the way the colour red was used in the sixth sense.

I have seen a few user names on here that i thought would make interesting character names. Naming people has always been my weakest point.
 Quoting: green_girl


Awesome! Can't wait to read it!
 Quoting: Illogiklylogical


PS Love the new sig. lmfao!
 Quoting: Illogiklylogical


chuckle
aren't i a little bastard?!!
:malefav:
I love this place!!
Illogiklylogical

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12/10/2013 02:34 PM
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Re: My husband said i should log out of GLP and finally write my book, so I made this thread. 48k words - almost half!
...


lol. well, the colour green is a recurring theme in the book. I had intended for there to be a green comet in the sky as an omen, but not sure if that element will remain in the finished version. It was just part of a "green" brainstorming session to think of ways to keep the thread of green consistent throughout all the books. Sort of the way the colour red was used in the sixth sense.

I have seen a few user names on here that i thought would make interesting character names. Naming people has always been my weakest point.
 Quoting: green_girl


Awesome! Can't wait to read it!
 Quoting: Illogiklylogical


PS Love the new sig. lmfao!
 Quoting: Illogiklylogical


chuckle
aren't i a little bastard?!!
 Quoting: green_girl


dance
"My hair's turning white, My neck's always been red, and My collar's still blue..."
Anonymous Coward
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12/10/2013 02:36 PM
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Re: My husband said i should log out of GLP and finally write my book, so I made this thread. 48k words - almost half!
can someone really make a living selling novels? realistically...because Ive always thought about it...I loved writing in University..hmmm now you ve got me thinking
 Quoting: Sugar Kills


You can, but it takes a LOT of luck and talent. It's virtually unheard of for an unknown coming out with a breakout hit Novel. Unually it's someone who knows someone, or is already entrenched in the publishing industry, Look up Gillian Flynn. Worked at Entertainment Weekly for years. Wrote a novel and is now a huge success.
 Quoting: Black Unit


I know many writers of varying degrees of success. Several still have day jobs.

One couple I know makes a living writing novels as a duo. They work Very Hard. They don't have insurance, they still have a mortgage, etc...

And what a lot of people forget to take into account, the average advance for a new author is only $10K. Of which you get half up front, and the other half about 6 months later. And then you HOPE and PRAY that you sell more copies than they expected and you get a second print run.

And THEN after all of that sweat, you still have to pay taxes. Which will CRUSH you if you don't do it 'right' (save, incorporate, etc).

And my friends (the couple) they made a deal with their editor that they have rights to anything shorter than so many words, so that they can self-publish 'continuing adventures of' stories electronically to get a basic monthly income that they can use for regular bills like groceries & gas.

They write ALL the time.
It is not a job for the faint of heart... Even if you're really successful after the first or the second or the third.


And they are 'NY Times Best sellers, too'. They just haven't written their 'Da Vinci Code' yet.
green_girl  (OP)

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12/10/2013 02:39 PM
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Re: My husband said i should log out of GLP and finally write my book, so I made this thread. 48k words - almost half!
can someone really make a living selling novels? realistically...because Ive always thought about it...I loved writing in University..hmmm now you ve got me thinking
 Quoting: Sugar Kills


You can, but it takes a LOT of luck and talent. It's virtually unheard of for an unknown coming out with a breakout hit Novel. Unually it's someone who knows someone, or is already entrenched in the publishing industry, Look up Gillian Flynn. Worked at Entertainment Weekly for years. Wrote a novel and is now a huge success.
 Quoting: Black Unit


I know many writers of varying degrees of success. Several still have day jobs.

One couple I know makes a living writing novels as a duo. They work Very Hard. They don't have insurance, they still have a mortgage, etc...

And what a lot of people forget to take into account, the average advance for a new author is only $10K. Of which you get half up front, and the other half about 6 months later. And then you HOPE and PRAY that you sell more copies than they expected and you get a second print run.

And THEN after all of that sweat, you still have to pay taxes. Which will CRUSH you if you don't do it 'right' (save, incorporate, etc).

And my friends (the couple) they made a deal with their editor that they have rights to anything shorter than so many words, so that they can self-publish 'continuing adventures of' stories electronically to get a basic monthly income that they can use for regular bills like groceries & gas.

They write ALL the time.
It is not a job for the faint of heart... Even if you're really successful after the first or the second or the third.


And they are 'NY Times Best sellers, too'. They just haven't written their 'Da Vinci Code' yet.
 Quoting: tandym


that is a good idea! and a good point too. writing is just the first step involved. there are still many other hurdles to overcome.
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Life and Love

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12/10/2013 02:42 PM
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Re: My husband said i should log out of GLP and finally write my book, so I made this thread. 48k words - almost half!
I have never been a fiction writer and never will be. I have, however, succeeded at three things that no one thought I ever would. On paper I was set for failure.

But that's not the way it worked out.

Along the way I had to learn lesson after lesson, but I think the most important one was to "ungrasp" outcomes. Have an air of expectancy but don't hold any specific expectations too tightly.

Above all, enjoy the ride!
We become like that to which we are devoted. - Choose wisely.
Nameless Wimp
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12/10/2013 02:46 PM
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Re: My husband said i should log out of GLP and finally write my book, so I made this thread. 48k words - almost half!
Has anyone on here ever gotten a book deal after submitting a book proposal to a publisher? Was it hard?
green_girl  (OP)

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12/10/2013 02:46 PM
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Re: My husband said i should log out of GLP and finally write my book, so I made this thread. 48k words - almost half!
I have never been a fiction writer and never will be. I have, however, succeeded at three things that no one thought I ever would. On paper I was set for failure.

But that's not the way it worked out.

Along the way I had to learn lesson after lesson, but I think the most important one was to "ungrasp" outcomes. Have an air of expectancy but don't hold any specific expectations too tightly.

Above all, enjoy the ride!
 Quoting: Life and Love


wise words!
yes, everyone else's expectations that i would fail - mostly only perceived by me, not always expressed - were what has kept me back. I allowed their assumptions that writers are a rare and special breed that i did not belong to colour my judgement! not anymore. i am doing it. and enjoying the ride as well.
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I love this place!!
green_girl  (OP)

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12/10/2013 02:47 PM
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Re: My husband said i should log out of GLP and finally write my book, so I made this thread. 48k words - almost half!
Has anyone on here ever gotten a book deal after submitting a book proposal to a publisher? Was it hard?
 Quoting: Nameless Wimp 34166864


that is a good question! everything i know about publishers says they do not like unsolicited material. I am thinking i will need an agent to be the go between between the publisher and myself.anyone else have more on this topic to add?
:malefav:
I love this place!!
Anonymous Coward
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12/10/2013 02:51 PM
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Re: My husband said i should log out of GLP and finally write my book, so I made this thread. 48k words - almost half!
I like this! As a fellow writer....

A couple years ago I wrote a 50,000 word story in about four or five weeks, beginning to end. The editing hell has dragged on for years(of course).

I wrote it quickly in a panic as if the world would end if I didn't finish it. I wrote everyday, I wrote for hours. I couldn't WAIT to reach the end. It was like the same feeling you get when you're reading a good book and then you feel sad once you've reached the end(you couldn't wait to get to the end but once you get there it's kind of sad).

I had the ending of the book in my mind before I ever began. And I began without a plot-line, without all that stuff, I just began.

I would have to disagree kindly with one replier, the key is not a good editor(that stuff comes after you've written your story, I say).

The key is feeling like it is the most important thing you've ever done IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE. The key is feeling like no one else in the world could ever tell your story, so YOU must, you're the ONLY ONE that can do it. And if you make the ending the most important part of the story(in my humble opinion, endings ARE the most important part of the story) then you'll be forced to reach the end... the feeling of importance and impending doom upon NOT completing it will never leave you throughout your journey. It will feel like a life or death situation because you have a destination to reach and you won't be personally fulfilled until you reach it. And again(forgive me for reiterating), because it's the BIGGEST thing you've ever done and who care's if it's the ONLY thing you'll ever do(I didn't).

But I mainly write therapeutically(I turn true stories into fiction stories). And I write during times of extreme loneliness(with a "fuck the world" attitude). My endings are the closure's that I fantasize about, they will vindicate me as a fellow human being on this planet. Those vindications are important to me, very personally, very selfishly. Which means writing, for me, is shamelessly self-indulgent and self-fulfilling.

Without that I don't know how I would ever have finished a story. I'm not sure if one can just will this manic panic up at a whim or how to make something feel so enormous in purpose. But I do know, now, that because I did it once... I can do it again. And I will.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 20459006


Thanks, that's a useful perspective.
Anonymous Coward
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12/10/2013 03:13 PM
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Re: My husband said i should log out of GLP and finally write my book, so I made this thread. 48k words - almost half!
I meant to tell everyone on here. There is a really good place to connect with other writers, screen writers ect. It's zoetrope.com. You have to sign up and go to the writer's section, then ask to join one of the private rooms. There are several agents, and published writers on there who can give advice and will critque your work if you critique theirs. I joined about ten years ago, met a group of people in an office called the Horror library and got my first published short story out of it. (Horror Library Vol 1) They are now on Vol 4 I believe with authors like Bentley Little, Ray Garton, and Jeff Strand contributing.

[link to www.zoetrope.com]

[link to www.cuttingblock.net]


Good stuff.
 Quoting: Black Unit


I recommend this one as well:
[link to www.onlinewritingworkshop.com]

I was a regular there back in 2002-2004
Anonymous Coward
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12/10/2013 03:19 PM
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Re: My husband said i should log out of GLP and finally write my book, so I made this thread. 48k words - almost half!
Has anyone on here ever gotten a book deal after submitting a book proposal to a publisher? Was it hard?
 Quoting: Nameless Wimp 34166864


that is a good question! everything i know about publishers says they do not like unsolicited material. I am thinking i will need an agent to be the go between between the publisher and myself.anyone else have more on this topic to add?
 Quoting: green_girl


Most definitely, an agent.

You can use this site -- it is UBER helpful:

[link to querytracker.net]

Or this one -- less features (can't track your queries for isntance) but the layout is nice and the information is good:

[link to www.agentquery.com]
green_girl  (OP)

User ID: 49871189
Canada
12/10/2013 03:59 PM
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Re: My husband said i should log out of GLP and finally write my book, so I made this thread. 48k words - almost half!
Has anyone on here ever gotten a book deal after submitting a book proposal to a publisher? Was it hard?
 Quoting: Nameless Wimp 34166864


that is a good question! everything i know about publishers says they do not like unsolicited material. I am thinking i will need an agent to be the go between between the publisher and myself.anyone else have more on this topic to add?
 Quoting: green_girl


Most definitely, an agent.

You can use this site -- it is UBER helpful:

[link to querytracker.net]

Or this one -- less features (can't track your queries for isntance) but the layout is nice and the information is good:

[link to www.agentquery.com]
 Quoting: tandym


thank you!!
:malefav:
I love this place!!
Nameless Wimp
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12/10/2013 09:24 PM
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Re: My husband said i should log out of GLP and finally write my book, so I made this thread. 48k words - almost half!
Has anyone on here ever gotten a book deal after submitting a book proposal to a publisher? Was it hard?
 Quoting: Nameless Wimp 34166864


that is a good question! everything i know about publishers says they do not like unsolicited material. I am thinking i will need an agent to be the go between between the publisher and myself.anyone else have more on this topic to add?
 Quoting: green_girl


Most definitely, an agent.

You can use this site -- it is UBER helpful:

[link to querytracker.net]

Or this one -- less features (can't track your queries for isntance) but the layout is nice and the information is good:

[link to www.agentquery.com]
 Quoting: tandym


Yes, thanks!
green_girl  (OP)

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12/10/2013 09:54 PM
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Re: My husband said i should log out of GLP and finally write my book, so I made this thread. 48k words - almost half!
woot! woot!
[link to i.imgur.com]

still going strong. No sign of the dreaded writer's block, and i can't say how much better it is to wsrite with a plot lined out!! I am stubborn, and always rebelled againtst it when doing creative writing in english class. I can admit i was wrong. It can be a very important tool, and it seems as though it is helping me. If anyone out there is struggling keeping momentum in their stories, i strongly recommend it!
:malefav:
I love this place!!
Life and Love

User ID: 46807867
United States
12/10/2013 09:57 PM
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Re: My husband said i should log out of GLP and finally write my book, so I made this thread. 48k words - almost half!
woot! woot!
[link to i.imgur.com]

still going strong. No sign of the dreaded writer's block, and i can't say how much better it is to wsrite with a plot lined out!! I am stubborn, and always rebelled againtst it when doing creative writing in english class. I can admit i was wrong. It can be a very important tool, and it seems as though it is helping me. If anyone out there is struggling keeping momentum in their stories, i strongly recommend it!
 Quoting: green_girl


I do like that last paragraph!
We become like that to which we are devoted. - Choose wisely.
green_girl  (OP)

User ID: 49871189
Canada
12/10/2013 09:59 PM
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Re: My husband said i should log out of GLP and finally write my book, so I made this thread. 48k words - almost half!
woot! woot!
[link to i.imgur.com]

still going strong. No sign of the dreaded writer's block, and i can't say how much better it is to wsrite with a plot lined out!! I am stubborn, and always rebelled againtst it when doing creative writing in english class. I can admit i was wrong. It can be a very important tool, and it seems as though it is helping me. If anyone out there is struggling keeping momentum in their stories, i strongly recommend it!
 Quoting: green_girl


I do like that last paragraph!
 Quoting: Life and Love


Thanks - sincerely! As the story develops i am finding the right voice to tell it. I fully expect the first couple of chapters will need to be reworked in the next draft.
:malefav:
I love this place!!
Life and Love

User ID: 46807867
United States
12/10/2013 10:15 PM
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Re: My husband said i should log out of GLP and finally write my book, so I made this thread. 48k words - almost half!
woot! woot!
[link to i.imgur.com]

still going strong. No sign of the dreaded writer's block, and i can't say how much better it is to wsrite with a plot lined out!! I am stubborn, and always rebelled againtst it when doing creative writing in english class. I can admit i was wrong. It can be a very important tool, and it seems as though it is helping me. If anyone out there is struggling keeping momentum in their stories, i strongly recommend it!
 Quoting: green_girl


I do like that last paragraph!
 Quoting: Life and Love


Thanks - sincerely! As the story develops i am finding the right voice to tell it. I fully expect the first couple of chapters will need to be reworked in the next draft.
 Quoting: green_girl


I found myself asking who, what, and why. So now you have to keep writing so that my questions will be answered!
We become like that to which we are devoted. - Choose wisely.
green_girl  (OP)

User ID: 49871189
Canada
12/10/2013 10:21 PM
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Re: My husband said i should log out of GLP and finally write my book, so I made this thread. 48k words - almost half!
woot! woot!
[link to i.imgur.com]

still going strong. No sign of the dreaded writer's block, and i can't say how much better it is to wsrite with a plot lined out!! I am stubborn, and always rebelled againtst it when doing creative writing in english class. I can admit i was wrong. It can be a very important tool, and it seems as though it is helping me. If anyone out there is struggling keeping momentum in their stories, i strongly recommend it!
 Quoting: green_girl


I do like that last paragraph!
 Quoting: Life and Love


Thanks - sincerely! As the story develops i am finding the right voice to tell it. I fully expect the first couple of chapters will need to be reworked in the next draft.
 Quoting: green_girl


I found myself asking who, what, and why. So now you have to keep writing so that my questions will be answered!
 Quoting: Life and Love


haha! but you will only get one paragraph every thousand words that way!! That cannot be very satisfying!
:malefav:
I love this place!!
Life and Love

User ID: 46807867
United States
12/10/2013 10:23 PM
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Re: My husband said i should log out of GLP and finally write my book, so I made this thread. 48k words - almost half!
...


I do like that last paragraph!
 Quoting: Life and Love


Thanks - sincerely! As the story develops i am finding the right voice to tell it. I fully expect the first couple of chapters will need to be reworked in the next draft.
 Quoting: green_girl


I found myself asking who, what, and why. So now you have to keep writing so that my questions will be answered!
 Quoting: Life and Love


haha! but you will only get one paragraph every thousand words that way!! That cannot be very satisfying!
 Quoting: green_girl


But that way you'll know I'll be checking up on you every night!
We become like that to which we are devoted. - Choose wisely.
green_girl  (OP)

User ID: 49871189
Canada
12/10/2013 10:24 PM
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Re: My husband said i should log out of GLP and finally write my book, so I made this thread. 48k words - almost half!
...


Thanks - sincerely! As the story develops i am finding the right voice to tell it. I fully expect the first couple of chapters will need to be reworked in the next draft.
 Quoting: green_girl


I found myself asking who, what, and why. So now you have to keep writing so that my questions will be answered!
 Quoting: Life and Love


haha! but you will only get one paragraph every thousand words that way!! That cannot be very satisfying!
 Quoting: green_girl


But that way you'll know I'll be checking up on you every night!
 Quoting: Life and Love


indeed!! that will help motivate me - i can't let you down!
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green_girl  (OP)

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12/10/2013 10:41 PM
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Re: My husband said i should log out of GLP and finally write my book, so I made this thread. 48k words - almost half!
and another thousand words.
[link to i.imgur.com]
that was fast!
:malefav:
I love this place!!
Life and Love

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12/10/2013 11:11 PM
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Re: My husband said i should log out of GLP and finally write my book, so I made this thread. 48k words - almost half!
and another thousand words.
[link to i.imgur.com]
that was fast!
 Quoting: green_girl

"... she could not choose her own ending..."

I get ^^this^^ and it makes me want to know more!
We become like that to which we are devoted. - Choose wisely.
green_girl  (OP)

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12/10/2013 11:22 PM
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Re: My husband said i should log out of GLP and finally write my book, so I made this thread. 48k words - almost half!
and another thousand words.
[link to i.imgur.com]
that was fast!
 Quoting: green_girl

"... she could not choose her own ending..."

I get ^^this^^ and it makes me want to know more!
 Quoting: Life and Love


blush

i hope you like where i take it next!!!
:malefav:
I love this place!!
Anonymous Coward
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12/11/2013 12:36 AM
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Re: My husband said i should log out of GLP and finally write my book, so I made this thread. 48k words - almost half!
I'm writing something too! I'm still on the outline, I have the inciting incident but need help with plot point 1 and midpoint maybe someone can help me out?
Anonymous Coward
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12/11/2013 01:32 AM
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Re: My husband said i should log out of GLP and finally write my book, so I made this thread. 48k words - almost half!
Thanks for the thread.
Writing is a tough biz for shure.
Sux to put urself on the line.
So, in order to help u, the blossoming
writer, to take that next courageous towards ur own self fulfillment,I'll post my work....



I just had to do an essay for an English class.
Read it if u want, criticize me if u will. Honestly, it doesn't matter to me either way. The essay was for my last English class EVER, and I'm done with writing.

There are some very good writers here in this forum. There are many posts which are very well articulated and expressed. Maybe one of those well-versed in critical analysis of writing will help you, the OP, on your quest.

It seems, every time I write a thread, I get hacked on by someone who is some kind of self-proclaimed English master.

I do, however, enjoy the criticism. I appreciate the eloquence of their written expression.

I'm just hoping to give OP courage to put herself out there!!. FUK'N GIV'R!

PUT UR BALLS ON THE BLOCK!

Required Essay Topic: The best things in life are free.
- Must be under 1000 words, I think this is about 980.

Anyways,

The Best Things in Life Are Free.(Nov.2013)


The relentless clip-clopping of the nurse’s shoes echoed down the hallway. A noxious sanitary odour seemed to permeate every moment of his waning existence. Propped up by a few pillows, with the help of a tilt-a-bed, Carl sat, uncomfortable but not in pain, with the bedside lamp turned on low, listening to the rain outside the window. At arm’s reach lights on a heart monitor blinked at regular intervals: green, blue and sometimes red.

The latest issue of Business Insider lay on the night stand; he had his secretary -his right hand man- bring it to him yesterday afternoon. The magazine was doing a feature article on him, “Carl Sterling-Man of Action”. Carl had not bothered to read it yet; he was spending most of his time thinking of his daughter.

It was twenty-eight years ago tomorrow when his only child was born. Carl had proudly named her Eliza Anne Sterling. Eliza was short for Elizabeth, named after his wife who had succumbed to complications giving birth; Anne was out of respect for his mother. Carl didn’t know much about his daughter these days, as he tried not to be too intrusive since the day she had not-so-kindly requested his permanent absence from her life; he was still reeling from that wrenching moment when his reality came to a grinding halt. Carl thought he had given her everything: private riding lessons (including her own champion thoroughbred stallion), the best private school education, luxurious vacations and anything she ever wanted.

Carl held a birthday card in his soft, shaking hand. The card was seemingly the same as all of the cards from the last few years. Purchased and filled out by his secretary, Carl’s only method of contact awaited his usual signatures, one on the card and one on a cheque.

Carl figured Eliza could use the money, she had cashed all the previous cheques, although sometimes months would pass before the funds were withdrawn. Pictures from his private detective showed that she wasn’t exactly living up to his affluent standards. Eliza was not living in hardship, a fairly new, black Honda CRV was parked in the driveway and she lived in a respectable area of town. However, it wasn’t strictly for Eliza that Carl kept up with the yearly contribution. Carl had another motive for his gratuity; he wanted to help provide for his 4-year-old grandson, Evan.

The day Evan was born was a big day for Carl. He had been giving a speech at a Harvard University pay-per-plate charity event; the proceeds were intended to aid families of soldiers killed in the Gulf War. Eliza had been accompanied at the hospital by her trusted and loyal, life-long friend, Ms. Aversely. Ms. A., as Eliza affectionately called her, had raised Eliza from day one. Carl was usually away on business trips or engaged with “high-ups” in the energy sector. Carl could often be heard saying things like, “I do not have the time to be a family man; I am too busy with work, and I am securing our family’s future.” It was Ms. A. who had called and left a message about Evan’s birth on Carl’s voicemail. If Ms. A hadn’t maintained somewhat of a professional relationship with Carl, it may have been months before he knew the details of his legacy.

It wasn’t until recently Carl had realized how his actions, or more accurately, lack of action, had been responsible for Eliza developing such a bitter contempt for him. “You can’t buy me! It was never about that, the stuff, the money! I needed a father, not some...,” Eliza yelled as she furiously backed away from her father. Carl saw tears fill her eyes before she hastily walked away and left him standing alone. That was the last time they had looked eye to eye, 7 years ago. At the time Carl was confused, he had been doing all along what he thought was best for their future. Growing up with parents who had experienced the Depression had taught him to work hard and earn money. He had become very good at that, at earning money, maybe too good; it had consumed him.

Carl looked at the birthday card with solemn despair. He ran his fingers over the embossed, flowery surface as if he was brushing his little girl’s hair. “How could I let this happen? How could it go so far?” he thought to himself. The card fell from his trembling hands on to the floor. The old man wept as he pressed the button hanging from his neck.

A nurse came quickly into the room to find Carl sitting up in his bed, his sheets covered in tiny pieces of a torn up cheque and his eyes still swollen and weepy from his revelation. Carl asked the nurse for a blank piece of paper. He prepared himself to write to Eliza, for the first time in many years, a personal letter for her birthday.

I tried, for many years, to understand how I failed you. I know now it was my fault, I could not see past my own shallow obsession. I beg of you to forgive me, I am eternally regretful of how things have turned out between us. I am pleading to you and my grandson, to give me another chance.
In your own time, and in your own way, please come back to me.
Sincerely,
A lonely man trying to make amends.

Carl gently put the letter in an envelope and placed it on the bedside table, turned the light off, and fell asleep to the beeping of the monitor beside him.
A light knock came from the doorway, tap-tap-tap. “Who was this?” Carl wondered. It wasn’t one of the regular hospital staff, they were much more forceful. “Come in,” he said, “it’s open.” Light from the hallway pierced the darkness of the room through a small crack in the doorway. Carl could barely make out tiny fingers reaching cautiously around the edge of the door.

A small voice said, in an excited and inquisitive tone, “Grandpa?” The lonely old man felt a tear roll softly down his cheek.



___________________________________________________

Sincerely,

My best wishes to you on all of your future endeavors.

You won't gain anything unless you risk something.





GLP