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To feel like I have a bestseller in me that can't find its way out?

(33 Posts)
Sotuko Wed 25-Oct-17 16:48:08

I'm an introvert, don't socialise unless I have to and spend a hell of a lot of time daydreaming - even when I'm at work I'm daydreaming about scenarios etc that I've made up in my head. I dream is to become an author but I just don't seem able to finish a story!! I set it out, become obsessed with it, live and breathe it and then all of a sudden I think "hang on, what is the point of this story?? It isn't actually going anywhere!".

A concept I'm fascinated with is the split second decision that changes an entire life (I.e. Turning right instead of left leads to an entirely different life). I'd like to turn this concept into a book but I just never seem to have the time to actually do it!

AIBU to think it's in there and at the right time, it will come out or am I kidding myself?

WishingOnABar Wed 25-Oct-17 17:17:32

You are kidding yourself. All successful writers will say that it is only 1% inspiration 99% perspiration. If you do not sit down and make a commitment to getting it all down on paper it wont magically throw itself there, and noone writes a bestseller in one draft.

If you are serious about this goal you need to make yourself write it all, ignore the negative voices in your head and when finished revise -revise - revise to perfect it. That’s the only way you will get there

TheIncredibleBookEatingManchot Wed 25-Oct-17 17:19:11

You'll never know unless you write it!

Do all your unfinished stories exist only in your head or have you started writing them?

What is it that's stopping you from writing your novel idea?

Is it fear of failure?

Is it that you like the idea of being a writer but not the actual writing?

Is it that the idea is still too unformed for you to envision it as a full novel?

Is there anything you can do to overcome whatever it is stopping you from writing it?

Join a writing group or take a course?

Just write anything not caring if it's any good until your idea starts taking shape and direction?

Good luck!

Dabitdontrubit Wed 25-Oct-17 17:21:17

I think there's a bestseller stuck in most people's heads.

I think there's a great book stuck in less heads.

I think the reason I haven't had a bestseller or written a great book is because I haven't committed to the acorn of an idea & grafted to forge it into something wonderful.

I am therefore not an author in waiting, I'm a person with an imagination.

Which isn't a bad thing in itself.

AtHomeDadGlos Wed 25-Oct-17 18:01:02

You mean like the film, Sliding Doors?


KimmySchmidt1 Wed 25-Oct-17 18:02:27

Everyone thinks this mate!

The difference between people who write bestsellers and people who don't is that people who write bestsellers sit down and write.

PhilODox Wed 25-Oct-17 18:05:54

Write. Just write. Write some more, and more. Then, when you've written a good number of pages (80?) pause, read it, edit it, begin writing again.
Switch the internet off.

QuestionableMouse Wed 25-Oct-17 18:07:09

Writing is bloody hard work and effort. I can be at a desk from 10am to 6 or 7pm when I'm writing. If you want to do it, you'll stop making excuses and finding reasons why you can't write and start finding ways that you can.

Saying that, there's nothing stopping you from having a go. Next month is You might want to check it out.

I've set myself a 200k word goal. Eep.

Nobrain Wed 25-Oct-17 18:08:19


Slimthistime Wed 25-Oct-17 18:08:53

if it makes you feel any better I have my first draft about 50% done, have had encouragement from two well known agents, and still haven't finished, though oddly enough, I'm just looking at the diary for the next time block.

Much as I say time, I realise some of it is me saying "what is this novel about?" - well I know that, but then I start asking "how is it different" and the answer is, it isn't. Probably everything has been written before but I just have to hope people take to the story and characters.

it's piss poor of me as the last time I saw one of those agents, she said to me "So I'm still waiting for this novel...."

anyway, as I say, I've got times blocked out in the diary for it so I should have that first draft done by Xmas, then a bunch of editing time over Xmas as i don't have children or anything like that and the office is closed (though earlier I was considering signing with a temp agency to see if I could get some extra earnings).

I've had a lot of parental illness to deal with but officially now out of excuses.

MaidOfStars Wed 25-Oct-17 18:08:54

OP, Ian McEwen bases a lot of his works on the consequences of split second events. You might enjoy his books.

But as above, we all think we have a book in us. It's probably true.

My literary preferences are stories that aren't really narratives, IYSWIM? I prefer a very loose and simple framing device that triggers dreamy recounting of tales, of events historical to the characters, of the workings of their minds. So I wouldn't say a story has to always 'go somewhere'.

99balloonsandproblems Wed 25-Oct-17 18:12:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nikephorus Wed 25-Oct-17 18:17:06

Set aside 30 minutes (or even just 15) every day and write. It'll happen. I set myself a goal of 1,000 words every day (except weekends) and I have a completed first draft. Now I just need to find the time to revisit it, edit, improve, format and then send it off. And if it gets rejected then I'll self-publish and I'll be able to say "I'm a writer" grin

TitaniasCloset Thu 26-Oct-17 04:43:54

How would you know if you can actually write and if it's worth trying anyway? Sorry, not to OP but to the writers or editors posting.

pinkdelight Thu 26-Oct-17 07:49:53

Don't just write it, plan it. Learn about story structure and then you'll know if it has legs before getting halfway through and realising you've (ironically) taken a wrong turn due to a string of split-second decisions. Having a bestseller in you generally doesn't mean daydreaming a lot then having one great book that flows out of you. It means doing at least your 10,000 hours of learning/failing first and then, with a lot of perseverance, luck and some talent, getting the thing finished. Numerous drafts. And then the real hard work begins getting it out into the world. Through all that, keeping the faith that what you are saying is worthwhile is perhaps the hardest thing. Stamina is crucial.

grannysmiff Thu 26-Oct-17 07:55:50

I just finished a book called Hot Milk which was up for the Booker prize, in which almost nothing actually happened. You can do it.

pinkdelight Thu 26-Oct-17 07:58:16

"How would you know if you can actually write and if it's worth trying anyway?"

That's the maddening thing, that there's tangibly little difference between a bad writer who is deluded and a good writer who hasn't made it yet. The difference is that if you're any good, you tend to get some supporters along the way. Writing classes and contests can give you some context and encouragement. Agents may show interest. If professionals with no axe to grind rate you then that's a good sign. But you still need an element of delusion in either case to keep you going. It can be a fairly thankless pursuit, though also a great privilege of course.

There's a podcast called The Bestseller Experiment which might be of interest. The guys spent a year writing a book whilst interviewing writers and industry figures to get the lowdown. They just self-published on Amazon and became bestsellers. Not read the book so can't say if it's any good, but some useful insights on how it all works.

CandleLit Thu 26-Oct-17 07:59:00

Making Magic by Elizabeth Gilber might help you out.

CandleLit Thu 26-Oct-17 07:59:19


pinkdelight Thu 26-Oct-17 07:59:56

BertieBotts Thu 26-Oct-17 08:00:05

If you want to write, write! What about doing NaNoWriMo? That's starting in a few days and the community is pretty awesome.

BertieBotts Thu 26-Oct-17 08:01:03

BTW, you should read the book Love and Other Near Death Experiences. Similar concept - I read it years ago now but I remember it being a brilliant story. Mil Millington.

BertieBotts Thu 26-Oct-17 08:05:53

It's about a man who narrowly avoids dying in a freak accident because he made one of those split second decisions and ended up not where he should have been, and so from that moment on he has horrendous anxiety over the tiniest decisions, knowing that they could lead to his death.

It gets a bit silly at the end but I still remember enjoying it.

KathyBeale Thu 26-Oct-17 08:08:29

I’m a writer. I write novels and I am a journalist. I have quite a lot of ‘beef’ with the image of writing being inspiration and waiting for the muse and the whole ‘I have to write’ narrative. (Mostly because I think it gives people an excuse not to pay me properly - because it’s my vocation, right?)

Writing is my job. I write for money. It’s really hard work. I have never had
writer’s block because I don’t have time to have writer’s block and news editors take a dim view of it.

If you want to write, then write. Do you read? Best way to learn story structure and plotting is to read other novels. I also think you can learn a lot from TV drama. Read, read, read and write.

And keep going when you get to the halfway point of ‘oh this is shit I am a shit writer and this is a shit story and everything is shit’ because it gets better.

And when you get to the end, edit, edit, edit. And then rewrite it. Possibly more than once.

I absolutely love being a writer so I wish you lots of luck. And I also say, just bloody do it.

LaurieFairyCake Thu 26-Oct-17 08:20:01

You need to just start writing. I’ve written just over eight thousand words in one week when I had a free week.

Since that free week I’ve had to put it on hold because I’m trying to get 4 income streams off the ground (I need to earn more money). I can only work on one thing at a time, I’m useless at ‘multi tasking’. Every day I think about my writing.

I’ve read loads of articles from writers who say that they just get on with writing - if you have SOME space and SOME time then just start.

As soon as I’ve got my other projects up and running I’m going back to writing smile

flowers good luck

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