Fiction Writers Unite: Short stories, novels, fan fiction, it's all good

Ok. Now my GOTY write up is out of the way I should be able to knuckle down and work on my book. I already have a first draft I’m very happy with but there is a ton of work still to do. Feeling like I have a story worth telling is good motivation.

Hey, I wrapped the first draft of my next book today. 129K words.

trichy wrote:

Hey, I wrapped the first draft of my next book today. 129K words.


I bought my wife (a relatively new fan fiction writer) a copy of "The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression" and she loves it. It basically lists all the ways you can say a person is feeling X without explicitly saying, "they felt X." For every emotion, like anger, it lists physical signals, internal sensations, mental responses, long-term responses, signs that this emotion is being suppressed, power verbs associated with that emotion, and other emotions that it may escalate or de-escalate to. She said it was one of the most thoughtful and useful things I have ever bought her.

It does sound like a very useful book for writers.

My four characters have been changing a lot. They all need to be experts in certain fields in a way that it makes sense for them to be chosen as a team but they also, obviously, need to be human beings with strengths, flaws and different perspectives on their mission.

To humanise them and fix them in my head as individuals, I’ve decided to write a short story about each one that puts them to the test and brings out their character. They’d be events that occurred before they were assembled into a team (no, it’s not the Avengers) and their handling of the incident concerned might be part of why they were chosen.

At various times I’ve removed plot lines from the main book that were over complicating an already complex story. As a bonus to this approach, I’ve realised that I can use elements of those solid but superfluous ideas as the bases for a story in each case.

*blows dust off thread*

So glad this is here. I've been working on a book that began as a nanowrimo in 2020 and now, a year and a half and a few revisions later, it's a finished novel ready for readers and feedback. It's a Victorian era urban fantasy that takes place in a world of its own.

I've recieved some positive early feedback from a few people, but I'd love some more eyeballs on it before I make any further revisions. This is before copy editing or a final edit, but it's readable beginning to end in its current form.

I don't think I've ever worked on something creative this hard before. At least, not without collaborating with other folks. I have a whole new appreciation for working authors and folks undertaking writing of any length in the midst of a busy life.

If anyone would like to be an alpha reader, I'd love to send you the book. It can be a PDF, or I even have a workable e-reader version. I'll send along some guiding questions to respond to. Not looking for detailed, line-by-line criticism (I'll pay someone for that after any further revisions) but wider views about the story overall, what works and doesn't work for you. If you fell off, when, etc.

If you're interested drop me a PM or hit me on Twitter @shawnandrich! The book is 150K words, which is about average for fantasy length.

Wow, that's amazing, Shawn, congratulations!!! I've never gone anywhere near that big, so I can't even imagine the amount of work. Sadly, I can't volunteer as an alpha reader, though I would've loved to, because my schedule doesn't even allow space for writing at this point. :'( But I wish you much luck and success!
As well as to all of us here in the thread.

Thank you Eleima! I hope you find some space for writing again at some point.

And thank you everyone who has PMed me about offering feedback on the book. If I ever publish the darn thing I’ll be sure to thank you in the acknowledgments.

Congratulations, Certis!

And Eleima, seconding Certis’ best wishes that writing will find its way back to you.

Congratulations! And I can't wait till Netflix picks it up, ruins it, and cancels it after Season 2!

Ok. Over Easter (I have some time off) my goal is to get my three character defining short stories done. I need to start making progress.

So I finished the first draft of my current project. Right now, it's at 85K words. I'm going to take a few days to rest, and then I start stage one rewrites on Monday. Current working title is Frostbitten.

Just catching up on this thread! I’m currently at a writers con renewing my creative juices. If any of you guys want to set up a discord subchannel for write-ins I would be game. Also, happy to be a beta reader for any of you guys if you’re looking for overall thoughts/suggestions. (I unfortunately couldn’t take on a line edit project).

I’d forgotten what slow going writing Science Fiction can be. I’ve had three goes at a space travel story. The first too were overly elaborate. The third incorporates elements of the first two versions but in a way that does stop the story from getting to the good part. They’ve been boiled down and now serve more as incidental flavouring.

A problem with any science fiction when you start out is that you can write a single sentence about a person’s job and you are suddenly having to come up with a ship for that person or persons to fly, what it’s capabilities are, where it is going, how do they navigate, what kind of colony is headed to, who they have communication with, etc.

My other two stories are set on Earth and don’t involve a lot of futuristic tech so they should be quicker to write. It may be best that I’m tackling this one first.

Edit: Ok. The story is building up a head of steam now. I’m off and running.

Okay. I've finished a full polish, and I think my draft is ready for a few beta readers. 87,494 words. Genre is fantasy horror. Anyone interested? PM me if so.

All right. I'm finishing up one final editing and polishing round, and I plan to begin pitching to agents within the next few weeks. It's a terrifying prospect, but if anyone is interested, I'll keep posting about the process on this thread.


I have written three items on my GOTY list that I’m extremely pleased with. It’s a dangerous game. Here’s hoping I don’t play ten games I feel are better than those three before the end of the year. To be fair, I really doubt that’s possible.

Hey, query letters are the worst. I have to come up with a good comp for my manuscript, and so far, the best suggestion has come from my daughter, who put forward, "Frostbitten is what you get when a rabid Komodo dragon eats a spicy snowcone."

Okay, I've sent out ten query letters to ten agents. A friend suggested never have more than ten out at once to avoid being confused as to who you've already pitched. I've already gotten back three rejections, which is super fun and not at all disheartening, but they all came within a few days of the initial email, so I'm trying not to let that get to me. We'll see what happens next.

I also need to continue work on the next book, but it's a bit difficult to get into the right headspace while waiting on queries to come back.

What software if any do y'all use to write with if other than Word? Thinking any getting a copy of scrivener.

I've never really tried to use anything other than Word for writing myself. It's slightly mysterious to me what something like Scrivener really gives me that can't be done (in some ad-hoc way at least) in any vaguely modern word processor. Not that I've tried that hard to find out, mind you.

Yeah, I just use Google Docs.

I used Scrivener to write my dissertation and keep meaning to bring my notes for my tabletop-RPG stuff-in-progress into it but haven't gotten around to that yet. It doesn't do anything you can't do without it, but I still found it really useful for organizing my notes and various stages of drafts.

Think of it as a text editor combined with a pretty interface for collections of related documents.

I'm on the Scrivener train. It had a pretty steep learning curve, but now that I've gotten used to it, I really appreciate the features. Also, I hate coming up with names, and it has a name generator.

Thanks all. Trichy can you say a little more about the learning curve? Is it that it requires you to change your approach to writing, or are you saying the features just aren't very intuitive?