I gues I could say I am decently good at writing, for someone who doesn't write much besides English 101/102 classes.

I have a couple questions, which may proceed some background information to why I am asking the question.

  1. Background: I want to write a fictional story that I thought origanally should be a short since I haven't written a lot of stories; I however, have a lot of storyline and details. The story runs through multiple parts of the main character's life and the beginning part is a lot of background information while the middle and end is where the main story and adventure takes place to the climax of the writing. The begining is supposed to build information and characters that you would not have expected to do be in the story later on.

    Question: Should I write a short story first and then make it into multiple stories like a series of books or a series of short stories? If I take the write a short story route, should I condense the short story into all the stages of the story - young begining, exciting middle and end, or just write a detailed short story about the early years, and expand it to a story with added details into the later life with the main story and plot?... When I say main, I mean like what the story is all about.

  2. Background: I have a lot of details for the plot, characters storyline. I started out with my own main ideas for the main story (which is sort of in the middle where it get's intense) and later on; however, I wanted this preceding story about the characters upbringing. Not to be reduntant, but hoperfully assuring you that I am not copying verbandom someone else's story, I repeat that I got my own ideas for the begining part's setting and character's, but I am using documentary videos of the real grim stories of people's ubringing.

    Question: Should I gather details about the circumstances of the people in these documentaries and the grim cruel cold world they live in and can't escape, and use some of their stories into mine?

  3. Background: Same as in Question 2.

    Question: Regardless of whether should gather details from the documentary, in the case when documentary's (videos articles first person ) are a good sources, should I FIRST know some "writer's secrets" of what details to look for when seekign detial from sources for my stories?

I have some books on Writing and was wondering if read such material would be highly recommended even before grabbing ideas or makeing your own?

My question is should I read such material as cited below, to help me use documentaries and other sources for stories in the most usefull manner ( read description if it helps )?


should be a short since I haven't written a lot of stories

Forget about that. Making stuff up about word count has no use, except someone pays you for a 1000 word article or a 60.000 words novel. Then you have to meet their criteria. Otherwise just write and count the words after you've finished your story.

I have no clue what your second question is about. Do you ask if you can use documentaries as an inspiration source? Yes, you can. Do you ask if you can steal material? No, you can't.

There are no writer secrets. Have you ever asked a sprinter if there is a secret to running? Probably they just run more often than you. Sit down every day and write. That's it.

Is it good to read about writing? Oh, boy, I could be honest, but you won't like it.

Caution: If you do not want to be discouraged and keep writing instead, leave this post now! (I mean it)

Books about writing contain (more or less) wonderful advice about writing. The problem is, if you haven't written anything of length yet (like your first novel), it's pretty much useless to you.

You will be overwhelmed by all this information and you will not know when to use what and that can be pretty paralyzing. You just lack the experience to use all that stuff correctly.

So my advice is, keep these books on the shelf, write your first novel and when you have gained that experience, read the books about writing.

"Won't that make my first novel worse?" you may ask. Well, it's your first novel. With a 98% likelihood it will be bad anyway, no matter how much you read about writing before. If you are a carpenter's apprentice your first work will not me a master piece, no matter how many books about woodwork you have read. It will be crap. Get over it and start writing.

Oh, and use a spell checker, really.

  • Thanks... Yes, the second question was, "could I use the documentaries as inspiration..." A SE user said, "if your idea is really good, but you haven't written a novel yet, perhaps save the idea, write short stories, get good at writing, and then come back and use your good idea when you are more honed. Would you concur with this? This brings to what Question 3 Also, if I do follow this advice and write my first short story / novel, read the books, improve, will I be better at using the documentaries as inspiration. I am asking this because I don't a subpar story because I was impatient. – Chris Okyen Oct 13 '12 at 2:36
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    @ChrisOkyen, I'm not a fan of writing other stuff than the one running through your head. You can start short stories, sure, but your thoughts will always get distracted to the "real" thing in your head. Write it down, start with it. Most likely it will be bad, but so what? If you start writing every day other ideas will pop up, which will sound more intriguing. Even if not, you can rewrite the whole story after you gained experience with ten more novels. BTW writing does not get along well with impatience. – John Smithers Oct 13 '12 at 10:50
  • As far as impatience, programming in low level languages has taught me some of that ( Writing a game engine in c++ with a graphics API and a multimedia library ) Why are you not an advocate of using sources as inspiration. Also, what do you mean that with short stories, "your thoughts will always get distracted to the "real" thing in your head?" And do you mean write down my own ideas first when you say "write it down"... As Bruce's Wayne's father told him, "Why do we fall? So we can pick ourselves back up." It will suck, and then suck and then suck less. But that's better than regression. – Chris Okyen Oct 13 '12 at 18:30
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    @ChrisOkyen, well, you have a story in your mind and what you mention about your story makes me think, that it will be a bigger one. So I advise to write that story. You can write short stories with other topics, but I guess your mind will always go back to that big story. That's what I mean with distracting. And use all sources of inspiration you can get. (Probably there is a misunderstanding here.) – John Smithers Oct 13 '12 at 23:06

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