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Beyond A Galaxy Far, Far Away: A Thread For Writers Of Original Fiction

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by TigerofRobare, Jul 16, 2007.

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  1. TigerofRobare

    TigerofRobare Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Hello, friends and neighbors. This thread is for discussing the writing or original fiction, trading ideas, rendering aid and comfort, and generally getting away from Star Wars. Any genre is allowed, save those prohibited in the Terms of Service (i.e erotica, etc).

    Please feel free to post links to any original work you have online somewhere.

    AND REMEMBER: PLAY NICE!!!!

    I myself started writing fanfiction to help learn the craft of writing for my original fiction, and I must say my writing has improved dramatically.

    In the realm of original fiction I am working on an obviously [i]Star Wars[/i] inspired saga tentatively entitled [i]The Epic of Galaxies[/i]. It went through many changes before I ever set pen to paper, but basically it's about how human-created machines called syntellects (a portmanteau of synthetic and intellect) try to destroy all life and the efforts to stop them. I have written the first chapter and will gladly pm or e-mail it to anyone interested in R&R'ing it.
    >
     
  2. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master star 9

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    I'm working on a semi-allegorical fantasy series called The Penitence Cycle. The first book needs major revision right now. It's about a word that is ruled by magic until the powers that be decide to strip them of the magical powers and they're still in the middle of a civil war, so the normal people then have to be the heroes.
     
  3. The_Face

    The_Face Ex-Manager star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Feb 22, 2003
    I'm slacking on my original fiction writing fanfic. [face_blush]

    My submission for the Sci-fi Fantasy Books and Comics Writer's Contest Four was set in a long-settled Mars, with a detective investigating a murder that turned out to be related to shady conspiracies.

    I recently wrote a short story for class set around a terrorist madman giving an interview, set in the near-future.
     
  4. Space_Wolf

    Space_Wolf Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2007
    I've had my own ventures into original fiction, but my computer died, so it all got wiped...I've been working mostly on fan fiction since then though. At the moment, I'm just too distracted to even think of delving into original fiction again.
     
  5. Commander-DWH

    Commander-DWH Manager Emeritus star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 3, 2003
    I wrote a story for my final Japanese lit paper, a sci-fi/fantasy adaptation of Mori Ogai's Sansho the Steward. It took place in a world I had been building for about a year, and involved Japanese space pirates. Definitely the most fun paper I've ever written- about three times as long as it needed to be, and I want to make it longer. Unfortunately, I think I left my thumb drive with the only full copy of the story in the CompSci lab at school. I still have a hard copy of the paper, though (with all my professor's markings- she's a bit of a grammar nazi, so I'll have a good guide to fixing it up :D ), so I intend to re-type the whole thing sometime.
     
  6. TigerofRobare

    TigerofRobare Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Does anyone know of any place online that will host original stries, like an original fiction counterpart to fanfiction.net? I'm sure they exist, just don't know any addresses.

    I'm trying to make it so that none of the human characters have supernatural powers. Instead there is a group of future martial arts collectively called Bodo Wendu. There are styles adapted for varying weapons and gravities.

    I'm also trying to think of a name for a weapon similar to the Vajra--Indra's thunderbolt scepter in Hindu mythology--that's going to occupy a lightsaber-like position in my universe.
     
  7. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 11, 2005
    I have enough trouble coming up with OCs in the GFFA, but there is an original story concept I've been kicking around for some time that could use some serious developement.
     
  8. The Musical Jedi

    The Musical Jedi Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 13, 1999
    Tiger, I would actually recommend you not post your original fiction to comparable site like FF.N just because those venues would make it very easy for someone to walk off with your work. Not a great thought, especially if the goal is to someday get published.
     
  9. AnakinsFavorite

    AnakinsFavorite Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2006
    It's funny that you bring up this topic now, for I actually started writing original fic again.

    When I was in my sophmore year of high school, I wrote my first novel- it was completed that summer. I dabbled on various things in the meantime, but when I really fell in love with writing was in the middle of my junior year and towards the beginning. You know how runners can get addicted to their exercise? Well, I'd literally be able to sit there writing feverishly writing for hours. I never finnished it- it got thrown away- and I was just a few pages from being done. Just think of it as a 1984-ish story (doomed society, ect).

    I rewrote it a year ago and finnished it one day before I joined here- I joined because I was then bored :p

    Nothing has been published yet but I did start a new story on Thursday. It's one of those things you do after a personal tragedy or sorts... and I got tired of waiting.

    I LOVE writing original fic. There is something just so... neat about being able to create characters and your own story. It's like piecing together a minute puzzle, and when you complete it... it's the most wonderous feeling.

    I would never post my stories anywhere. As MJ said, there is just too much risk. Hence, I told you that I wrote stories but not what they're about. I'd hate to be about to publish something and have something come back to haunt me because I was beign too impulsive and divulged the information elsewhere.
     
  10. Mjsullivan

    Mjsullivan Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Dec 8, 2003
    I have to agree with people here about keeping any work you might want published away from the Intellectual Property and Copyright nightmare that is the Internet. That said, though, you might not be looking to publish every work of original fiction. There's workshops you can join that can help improve your writing skills in exchange for fair critique of the works of others. I think Del Rey used to run a Sci-Fi Fantasy Workshop. Not sure if that's still open for business, though.

    I've been known to dabble in original fiction but I find myself unable to compact a plot into a small space and do it justice. That means writing a full-length novel and the effort involved to build, plan and execute such a thing overwhelms me a bit :p I've got nothing but the highest respect for those who are able to build their own universes and populate them with great characters and interesting plots.
     
  11. TigerofRobare

    TigerofRobare Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 11, 2006
    I am just trying to find a venue where I can get feedback that doesn't come from friends and relatives who are biased towards giving me positive feedback. I want some Simon Cowell of a reader to tell me in excruciating detail just how bad how my writing is and why.

    I see your points though.

    Some good resources:

    http://www.babynamesworld.com/

    http://www.behindthename.com/

    http://www.angelfire.com/id2/heathersnamepage/

    http://www.namenerds.com/

    http://www.gaminggeeks.org/Resources/KateMonk/

    http://dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/steingass/

    http://webapps.uni-koeln.de/tamil/

    http://www.seventhsanctum.com/




     
  12. JadeSolo

    JadeSolo Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2002
    There might also be some law that prohibits you from publishing or making any money off a story if it's already been published elsewhere. But sometimes authors are published in the New Yorker and then get those same works published as books. Maybe they worked out a deal, I have no idea.

    What I do know is that Matt Stover has a short story on his blog about one of his main characters, easily accessible by the general public. I don't think he intends to make money off it. On the other hand, I can't think of anyone who would have the balls to steal Stover's work. :p

    I write little ditties once in a while when I see something in real life that inspires me. They don't really go anywhere. More like quasi-vignettes of life. My problem is that I can easily write about a person's day, describe the tiniest little actions and thoughts that go through their heads, but I can't for the life of me come up with a decent plot. Or when I can, I'm terrified by all the "real life" details. Like if I wanted to write about two cops, I could set it in modern times, but how could I make it realistic without going into CSI-level detail? If I set it in the 1940s, how much of the time period do I have to describe to make the story worth setting in that era? The latter era might be easier since it's one of my favorites in general, but watching Turner Classic Movies all day long doesn't always provide me with the facts I need.

    It pretty much boils down to how much research I'd have to do, and whether or not I'd even need to do that research. By the time I finish asking myself these questions, I can't remember what my original story idea is. :oops:
     
  13. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master star 9

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    If you do go with an original fic website, be sure to read the terms of agreement VERY closely. You can usually spot things that would make you sell your soul to them without noticing the fine print.
     
  14. Space_Wolf

    Space_Wolf Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Kelley Armstrong has a writer's club on her forum. It's very much like the Del-Rey thing that Mjsullivan mentioned. The board that deals with it is also private, so the only people that see your work is Kelley, the admins that run the board and other members of the club. I think you'd be safe posting in a place like that because if you ever do come across a situation where someone has stolen your work, you pretty much know where to look...It's unlikely to happen though, since Kelley's a published author herself, so she wouldn't tolerate someone doing something like that.

    Having said that, recently I've come across this person who's been stealing ocs and plot ideas from friends of mine that have been writing Star Wars fan fiction and using it in hers...As you can imagne, that's really... (Well, if I said anymore I'd end up swearing, so I'm not...)

    I'm just glad I've recently changed SWCC around so that this person can't go stealing ocs and plots from the folks that have sent me stuff to post on there...unfortunately, I won't be putting those stories back up until that matter has been resolved.
     
  15. The_Face

    The_Face Ex-Manager star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Feb 22, 2003
    I find I often have the same problem. I think that's part of why I like writing sci-fi universes/near-future/alternate histories/etc. I can make it all up, and nobody can tell me otherwise. :p
     
  16. Alley_Skywalker

    Alley_Skywalker Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 27, 2005
    Does anyone know of any place online that will host original stries, like an original fiction counterpart to fanfiction.net? I'm sure they exist, just don't know any addresses.

    There is -- fictionpress.net

    I've dabbled in original fiction a bit but never fully finished any long stories. Usually b/c I get a severe case of DWB and the lack of response (its harder to get feedback w/ OF than FF from my experience anyway) leaves me flaundaring and de-motivated somewhat.
     
  17. oqidaun

    oqidaun Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 20, 2005
    I've been writing original fiction a lot longer than I've been writing fan fiction. I think the ultimate appeal to writing fanfic, aside from it being part of the fandom, is that the writer has more opportunities for feedback (even if it is in the form of :D and Good Job!)--it's still proof that someone's read it. With original fiction it's harder to get readers or to find folks to cheer you on (although NaNoWriMo is a wonderful revitalizing process).

    Closed blogs, i.e., blogs where you control access to the readership, are a good places to play--of course you're not going to get a lot of feedback from strangers. And, let's be realistic, the response that you're going to get on the internet is not comparable to the response that you're going to get from an actual literary agent (they don't tend to use a lot of smilies).

    fictionpress.com (like Alley said) is an ok place--it's the original fic component to fanfiction.net. I've used it before, but prefer to keep things in my blog, where I know who is seeing it.

    One of the benefits of fan fiction is that you can play around a lot with your OCs and plotlines, but you're not spilling the whole story. It's a good place to practice. My fanfic has spaceships and different planets, my original work has horses and an entire universe compressed into the confines of a very obscure map.

    However, here's the benefit of burying somethings online. Last November I had my two laptops and backup drives stolen from my house (take a moment to wrap you head around that nightmare). I lost a couple thousand pages of work. Fortunately, I was able to get a lot back because I'd posted bits and pieces here and there and had some stuff on Writely I was sharing with a friend. Yes, the internet is an evil place where plagiarists are hiding the shadows waiting to steal all of your ideas; at the same time, when push comes to shove, it can save your ass.

    Moral of the story:
    Back up everything. Make sure your files are dated. Be knowledgeable of copyright.
    99% of what we write isn't going to be the 'bestseller' (for every JK Rowling there's several million who never get anything published). However, you need to keep a weather eye on the 1% that might be the winner.

     
  18. TigerofRobare

    TigerofRobare Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 11, 2006
    I know. What I'm working on now has only one resemblance to what I started with in December 2005: the name of a planet (Nulvandra). I'm well aware that I'll probably end up cutting at least 90% of everything I write, probably more.

    Actually watching old movies is probably a good place to get information on a particular period in history--if the setting of the movie is contemporary to the time it was made (I once watched a movie that took place in the 13th century Islamic empire and featured the son of the Caliph of Baghdad in Egypt. Not only did it feature the Egyptians worshiping the old pagan gods like Isis, but by the year the movie purported to take place, the Caliphate of Baghdad had been destroyed by marauding Turks and Mongols). Movies like Casablanca, Citizen Kane, and others can be invaluable to learning about the fashion and slang of the '40's. Another good resource would be people who lived then. I can look at pictures my grandparents have and listen to their stories to find out a lot about the times they lived in.
     
  19. Ultima_1

    Ultima_1 Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    May 16, 2001
    I'm actually trying to get back to working on some original fiction I've been doing on and off (mostly off, unfortunately) since late high school. I actually did my final story for my college creative writing class based on it.
     
  20. The Musical Jedi

    The Musical Jedi Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 13, 1999
    :p That just makes me think of something my cousin recently told me: J.K. Rowling is the first and only author ever to make millions of dollars - simply as an author. But there are those who do more than sufficiently. :)
     
  21. Space_Wolf

    Space_Wolf Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2007
    I would suspect that most of the money J.K. Rowling has made has been from the merchandising of the films, rather than the books themselves....

    It's also been my opinion that the first and most important goal for a writer is to actually get published - making loads of money from it is a bonus.
     
  22. rebel_cheese

    rebel_cheese Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 6, 2006
    I believe James Patterson is a millionaire but he publishes about five, six books a year (!), and he uses a very plain, stripped style that allows him to write the books quickly (not to mention that he has a ton of co-authors). Though Along Came A Spider WAS turned into a film years and years ago . . .
     
  23. JadeSolo

    JadeSolo Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2002
    James Patterson is also one of those authors whose books seems to automatically end up on the bestsellers list regardless of story quality. I've never read any of his books, so I can't really say how good they are, but to me they sell like hotcakes because people recognize the name. Same thing if Dan Brown put out a new novel - whether or not people hate The Da Vinci Code, scores of readers will buy his new book just because he wrote it.

    So the moral of the story is: write fast or write controversy. :p
     
  24. TigerofRobare

    TigerofRobare Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 11, 2006
    I think the surest way to get someone to at least pick up your book has to do in the title--Supergods sounds more interesting than The Mayan Calender in Myth. Chariots of the Gods sounds more compelling than The Ancient Builders.
     
  25. Space_Wolf

    Space_Wolf Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2007
    I'm also very skepical about best seller lists...I can't recall ever seeing a Sci-Fi book in the charts and aside from a select few who always seem to make it on there, you hardly ever see a fantasy writer on there. This makes me think that they're maniupulated just to make people think they should buy a certain book by a certain author...And for goodness sake, don't sacrifice quality of writing for greed...I would much rather read a well put together book than some over marketed trash...If you're a good writer, your loyal fans will buy the books anyway just because of that. Marketing is shallow and when a book is over-marketed, it's usually a sign that it's rubbish and not worth the £17.99 you pay for it and the time you waste reading it.
     
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