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Old 08-31-2009, 10:11 AM   #1
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A writing thread

I'm actually studying to be a sports journalist, but one of the subjects I chose at uni was creative writing. And I absolutely love it. I'm in a class with people of all ages, it's a really great environment and I'm enjoying reading various pieces of work, we've done short stories, creative non-fiction and now radio plays. Also learning heaps about creative writers, and just wondering if there are many others out there like me who love writing, I'm always writing something, just jotting down what pops into my head and expressing it creatively as I can. So I thought I'd make a thread, maybe we can share what we've done, show off if we've been published, give advice, etc.
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:58 PM   #2
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Over the past couple of years I've been using different online writing sites with some success.

My first online publication was with the now-defunct Ruined Music back in 2007.

I joined the talented group of authors at Six Sentences in 2008 with the publication of my first Six which was published last September.

My second Six
was published in March of 2009.

In February of 2009 I made the author list for the print publication of 6S Volume Two.

Writers Digest recently added Six Sentences to their annual 101 Best Websites for Writers list.

I also keep a blog which I don't update nearly as much as I should. I am currently working on a book proposal but the process is a little rough and slow-going.

I feel completely out of my league but this is how we learn, I suppose.

Write, revise, repeat.
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Old 08-31-2009, 01:25 PM   #3
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Thanks for the ideas beegee, I am a (wanna be) writer too. Haven't been published yet but have been writing poetry since I was 13 and have entered 3 poems into a publishing contest which I should find out very soon if I am one of the authors to get published *crosses fingers*

Awesome idea to have a writing thread!
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Old 08-31-2009, 01:52 PM   #4
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It helps to work in marketing to get into the for-profit world of writing. Good copywriters and technical writers are almost always in demand. Practice is key to good "professional" writing, as is an AP Stylebook.

I've been a writer almost all of my life--short stories, poetry, some fiction, some nonfiction. It's how my wife and I met, too.

I've had a couple of travel articles published in a small airlines' magazine. Industry trade publications are another place where I've been published, but not always with a byline.

I'm hoping to take this December and finish the several screenplays that I have sitting around in various stages of development. If I can finish 2009 with 3 screenplays completed, I'll be ecstatic.


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Old 08-31-2009, 02:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobl04 View Post
I'm actually studying to be a sports journalist, but one of the subjects I chose at uni was creative writing [COMMA], and I absolutely love it. I'm in a class with people of all ages [SEMI COLON or PERIOD NEW SENTENCE]; it's a really great environment and I'm enjoying reading various pieces of work [SEMI COLON or PERIOD NEW SENTENCE]; we've done short stories, creative non-fiction and now radio plays. Also learning heaps about creative writers, and just wondering if there are many others out there like me who love writing[SEMI COLON or PERIOD NEW SENTENCE]; I'm always writing something, just jotting down what pops into my head and expressing it [AS] creatively as I can. So I thought I'd make a thread, maybe we can share what we've done, show off if we've been published, give advice, etc.[I'D RECOMMEND USING "ET CETERA" INSTEAD OF ETC., CAUSE LATIN IS BADASS, BUT THAT'S JUST PERSONAL PREFERENCE].
I took a creative writing class in college and on Day 1 the teacher said she didn't like Sci Fi or Fantasy and wouldn't accept submissions in either genre. I remember these two geeks were utterly flabbergasted and contemplated going to the Dept Chair to complain.

I recently found one of the things I wrote and it was the worst god awful peice of shit ever written. Ironically, the teacher liked it. Needless to say, it was one of the worst classes I ever took. Good thing I wasn't a sci-fi / fantasy guy then.
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Old 08-31-2009, 02:18 PM   #6
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I took a creative writing class in college and on Day 1 the teacher said she didn't like Sci Fi or Fantasy and wouldn't accept submissions in either genre. I remember these two geeks were utterly flabbergasted and contemplated going to the Dept Chair to complain.

I recently found one of the things I wrote and it was the worst god awful peice of shit ever written. Ironically, the teacher liked it. Needless to say, it was one of the worst classes I ever took. Good thing I wasn't a sci-fi / fantasy guy then.
I learned to sell out early. One of my comp teachers fancied himself an amazing dad (he wasn't). So, my final submission was some shit like, "The Father I Know Is Not The Dad I Remember."

A+++ The asshole almost cried in front of the class when he read it aloud.

pwnd


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Old 08-31-2009, 02:29 PM   #7
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My academic writing was always very strong. Then I entered the my current profession and found that my professional writing was fairly strong, too.

However, a life-long lament of mine is that my creative writing skills are atrocious. I've been an inveterate reader for the longest time, yet I just cannot exhibit any real skill when trying to create something fictional. I have a vivid imagination, too, yet cannot seem to merge my ideas with my ability (or lack thereof) to write.

The best I can do lately is to write stupid haikus on demand.

Anyway, COBL, good luck with this and I'm glad to hear that you are enamored with the written word.
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Old 08-31-2009, 07:55 PM   #8
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Great idea for a thread!

I've been writing since I was little, mostly stories and some poems. I've done mostly journalistic work in the last five years. But in two weeks, I'll be taking a writing course so I could get to work on the Great American Novel. I've been meaning to write books since I knew what books were, and now I have the time do it. I've already got started on my story idea, but I am really looking forward to this course. I am hoping to get reasonable feedback and having a good mentor in my instructor.

The other day at the local bookstore, there was book signing for the author Louise Shaffer. I don't know if anyone has ever heard of her, but she has a book out called "Serendipity." Anyway, I stopped by and chatted with her. I told her about my writing course, and I also asked her for some advice. Here is what she told me that I certainly am going to remember: Don't get it right, get it written. No one is forcing you to sit there but you, because you believe in yourself.

Hope that helps for all the writers out there.
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Old 08-31-2009, 08:00 PM   #9
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im a pretty fuckin good wrighter
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Old 08-31-2009, 09:24 PM   #10
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im a pretty fuckin good wrighter
You know what's odd? I believe this.
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Old 09-01-2009, 02:31 AM   #11
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I'd love to write. I've finally got a good idea for a story, but not much experience in writing creatively. I can write a uni essay and get an HD without a second thought, but when it comes to doing my own thing? Well, just read my posts. I've got a long way to go.
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Old 09-01-2009, 02:41 AM   #12
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So much talking about writing....whens someone gonna post something?


I took a writing course in college. I thought it was a lot of fun. My prof liked my stuff and tried to encourage me to enter contests and what not. I think I'll stick with photography though and leave the writing to the really talented folks.... I'd be interested in reading people's work. Which one of ya is gonna step up and pop the writing thread cherry?
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Old 09-01-2009, 02:46 AM   #13
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This is a short story I wrote for class, I got a distinction for it in the end, about 70%, but it's an idea I've had in my head for ages, I'd really love some feedback on it, I'm thinking about trying to get in published in our uni's annual literary book.

It's called The Seven Towers of Ballymun (two guesses where the inspiration's from)

Quote:
Alle, alle, alleluia, alle, alle, alleluia…

She was just 14 when she passed away. There was no funeral, no death notice, no grieving. The world turned for everyone as it would any other day.
Her mother was only 15 when she was born; and died during the pregnancy. They never found the father.
Her formative years were spent in an orphanage for babies in Cappoquin, west County Waterford, but she was never adopted. She got too old, and was transferred to an orphanage in Ballymun, about two and a half hours north, just out of Dublin. And it was Dublin in the late 70s – uninviting and plagued by heroin.
The building was tall and narrow, and far from modernity in its rectangular shape and evenly-spaced, square windows. Depressing black smoke billowed from the chimney atop the roof; the tenants never saw fit to keep it in good shape. The walls were stained from the pollution; the rooms were overlarge and cold.
As long as she could remember she had been there. Her earliest memories were of sitting in her corner, watching the bleak faces and the bleak movements and the bleak voices as rejected kid after rejected kid moped around the shit old joint.
Outside the windows were the seven towers of Ballymun, all varying in height and structure. She would spend hours just staring at them sometimes, wondering what happened inside them, whether she would ever find out.
She grew up despising the daily grind, lining up to be gratuitously checked over for prospective parents – the workers didn’t want to be there either, they were only in it for the money.
Each day passed with a bit of hope – some of the kids were adopted. Potential parents had come to look at her, but always found something in her to turn them away. She was perhaps the most reclusive of the lot. But how could you blame her? One dead parent, and one might as well have been.
She wished for a normal life. Even at such a tender age she felt tears welling in her eyes as she watched mother, father, son, daughter, walk past on the other side of the street.
Gradually, as she grew older, that small feeling in the pit of her stomach, the hope that she would be adopted, deserted her. Her 10th birthday came and went in tears. Her doll’s hair had fallen out; the nearest kid to her age who hadn’t been adopted was six years old. She felt ostracised and alone, always staring out the window, imagining, to make it seem okay for a few moments. She always had a great imagination.
One of the things she did to pass the time was watch out the window. She noticed after a while that a man in a heavy, black trench coat often walked past, at least a couple of times a day. Sometimes he would meet another person just around from the corner, just enough for her to watch them. A few quick words, some seedy glances, a couple of hand movements and they parted ways. She watched it happen, day in, day out, trying to figure out exactly what was going on in these exchanges.
She learnt after a month that it was always the same four or five people who met with the man in the heavy, black trench coat. It wasn’t until she was thirteen that she came to fully understand.
One day she decided she’d had enough. This existence was killing her, slowly, slowly. The orderlies never really cared. Their solution was always another round of Godfrey’s cordial. I’ve gotta do something about where I’m going
After breakfast she looked out the window, and saw that man again. Keen for something different, she decided to go outside and watch from closer up, see what the deal was. So, watching carefully as she snuck out the front doors, she crept out into the street and started walking.
And there he was. Talking to the same man again. She didn’t want to be seen, so she hid behind a tall, grey pillar.
A few mumbles were exchanged, and the man in the trench coat flung out his arm, though she couldn’t see what he gave the other man. They nodded, and moved off.
She was intrigued, she couldn’t turn away. He spotted her and walked over. Her life might have turned out differently if she’d just gone back to the orphanage.
“Hey.”
She didn’t answer.
“How old are you?”
Still no answer.
“Here, do you want some of this? Free…” he reached into one of the pockets and pulled out a needle and some white powder. He handed her a tiny batch.
“Dissolve this in water, draw it into the needle, find a vein and away you go. And, uh, do me a favour, let me know what you think,” he said with a seedy smile and off he went.
She hadn’t said a word the whole time, and she wondered what she was going to do with a needle and some powder. But he seemed nice she thought, and any excuse for her to kill time before curfew was great, so she decided to try it.
She walked down a deserted alleyway and found a rusted old tap. Repeating the man’s instructions over in her head, she held the bag underneath the tap, turned it on and dissolved and mixed the powder. Then she sat down next to the tap, picked up the needle and withdrew the viscous liquid.
She felt bad, all of a sudden. This feels wrong, she thought. But having never really had anyone around to learn, well, just about anything, a wave of anger flushed over her. Her adrenalin kicked in and she found a vein in her arm and pushed down the syringe.
That was the first time she shot up.
***
She woke up sore and shaking and out of it. She blinked, trying to organise her thoughts, but she couldn’t. Her shivering got worse, and she tried to move to stop the pain. When she looked down she could see, just beside her, a massive pool of vomit. She brought her hand up to her face and hair and could feel it, smell it. She threw up again, then put her hands under the tap and cleaned herself up. She tried to stand up, but failed.
She sat there for a moment, unable even to think. After a while her head seemed to clear up, and she thought about last night. How her blood was pumping as she got ready to inject, how her heart felt like it was going to explode inside her as she plunged, the strange emotion she felt as the stuff took effect.
She’d never felt that way before. It was the most amazing feeling. Like nothing seemed to matter. Everything that had brought her pain became immaterial. It was the greatest moment of her life. She felt… happy. The alleyway looked different now.
She caught herself. Now she was freezing, ill, and miserable. Why didn’t I stay like that, she wondered. She finally mustered enough strength to stand, and walk the few blocks back to the orphanage.
A few hundred metres from its doors, the man in the heavy, black trench coat saw her, and came walking over to her. She froze, terrified.
“You must’ve had a big night… first time, huh?”
He looked her over. “Is that where you live?”
She nodded.
“Mmm…” he unbuttoned his coat, and her eyes flashed, just for a millisecond. He caught it.
“Heh. Enjoyed it, huh? I could give you some more…” and he reached into his pocket again. “But it’ll cost you.”
She was becoming increasingly confused. In all her life she’d had few human interactions, and here was one.
“Money, I mean. Cash. They got some stored away in there?”
Inadvertently she nodded. She knew where they kept the petty cash. It was in one of the draws, behind the desk, near the entrance.
“Well how about this. You go in there, get me few wads of cash, and we’ll sort something out hey?” Still she didn’t say anything, and he got annoyed as she stared back quizzically.
“You get me some of the money that’s in there, I’ve seen it. Give it to me, and I’ll give you some more of this,” and he showed her the junk. Her heart skipped a beat. Now she understood. She could feel as happy as she did the night before, again. How she wanted to feel that way, again.
But she just kept standing there, and he muttered something and walked off. She was confused again, and wanted to sleep in a bed. She went back into the orphanage; no one was around to notice.
***
She had spent a day or two freaking out. She became agitated, and had marks on her arms from where she had scratched herself. She hadn’t wanted to eat, was too uptight to sleep. All she’d been able to think about was that wondrous night.
The man in the heavy, black trench coat was still around, of course, and she remembered what he’d said about the money. One particularly restless night she had got out of bed and made her way to the entrance desk. She had looked around furiously for the key, and after a few frantic minutes found it. She opened petty cash and took out a few notes. In her haste she grabbed more.
The doors were locked, so she hadn’t been able to get out until the morning. Soon as they were open she ducked out and searched for the man. Her mind raging, she saw him, and immediately relaxed. She longed for the needle’s chill.
He grinned and sniggered to himself. Another one. And he gave her another small bag.
And another.
And another.
And another.
***
She never got to find out what happened in the seven towers, and no one mourned her.
But no one saw the smile spread across her face, either.
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Old 03-16-2010, 05:49 AM   #14
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classes have started again. it's by FAR my favourite class.
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Old 03-17-2010, 12:20 PM   #15
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. . . lovely stuff Danny and kudos to you for posting and popping that cherry
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