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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Lightbulb Best online coursework just to get the juices flowing

    I haven't written anything in a long time. I think at some point I started thinking I had to write things other people would enjoy reading and then it became too much pressure. Here I am ten years later and I just want to get back into my own head. To write something because I enjoy the habit of writing as much as I enjoy the habit of reading. I can worry about the rest of it later but for now I guess I am needing some structure and guidance., I sort of forget where to start. College is a distant memory and I think I could use some instruction and community to get my butt into gear. I have a vague idea what I want to write about- a historical romance set in an alternate history- probably. Can anyone suggest where I can get started. Some sort of online course or writing group. I don't remember needing anything but a notebook or a laptop when I was a kid, things just seem more complicated now.

  2. #2
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    Just start writing. From the looks of your post, you don't appear to need any tutoring on the mechanics of writing. Most likely, you've already read a lot of the kind of book you want to write and probably have a few favorites. Analyze one of your favorites. Ask yourself questions about why you liked it, particularly the parts where you felt totally engrossed. Why did you like it? How is it written? Is it simple, clear language or more flowery and ornate? What were the events portrayed? Why did those particular events really capture you? What did you like about particular characters (even the evil ones, which we love to hate, lol)? What was it about the personalities of those characters that really "got" you? What sort of things did they say and do that reinforced those facets of their personalities?

    Once you start answering those kinds of questions, you can fashion those aspects that appeal to you most in a story of your own, probably with a few twists, because your answers will most likely inspire other ideas. You'll think things like, "What would be even better would be..." or "Now if this would've happened instead of that, then...", and it will excite you because you're starting from a strong base of what you know you like. Nothing better than liking what you write and being excited about what comes next.

    Write something every day. I imagine a historical romance demands a young lady and a young man. Start jotting notes about what these people are like. Are they educated or country folk? Rich or poor? Royalty, noble, or commoners? Firey or demure? Pious or worldly? What do they look like? How do they dress? Most likely you'll need some kind of villain(s). What are they like?

    So yeah...just start writing, m'lady. It's not complicated, it's just work. If you're not afraid of work, start writing. Stop saying you want to write and write. Now.

  3. #3
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    You know, I bet right after reading my post, a book or a part of a book, popped into your head...something you really liked. Go get that book, read that really great part that you like, and start asking questions to find out why you liked it. What did the author put in place before that part that made that part really pop for you? You'll discover a lot about storytelling when you analyze it. If the heroine hadn't been wearing that heirloom...if the hero didn't have that scar...if the villain hadn't known about thus and so, that really great part you love wouldn't have happened.

    Start thinking, get excited, and get writing.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
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    Oh my goodness. I just wrote a long reply and my computer ate it. I am too tired to get back at it. But I will say- you hit the nail on the head. I reread (for the umpteenth time) several sections of the first book I read on the subject and it inspired much interesting thought on the matter. I'll come back tomorrow after I try flogging my laptop with a wet noodle till it gives me back my homework!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    Yeah, if you want to write a long reply, do it in Word, then copy it to WN. This site times out pretty quickly, and you lose your reply.

  6. #6
    Administrator Wickett's Avatar
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    Just to throw out a suggestion, try ticking the "Remember Me" box when logging in so it won't time out on you. It'll log you in every time you visit the site and refresh pages.

  7. #7
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    If you are into the internet and such, you could start a blog. There are many wonderful platforms to do this online. It is rather fun to blog and there are so many different things that you can cover.

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