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Genre-Hopping Beginner Looking for a Mentor

Hey all, I'm in the process of looking for someone who will help talk me through the process of writing. I mean, I've currently got people critiquing me, with more in the wings once I start classes in the fall, but what I really need is someone to keep me grounded.

*checks last paragraph* Okay, let me explain this better. I'm a newbie who started out in fanfiction, looking to try and turn professional in the next five years or so. From what I've seen, those who make it (in self-publishing, at least) are generally on the prolific side -- about 2,000 words, every single day -- and I... am currently not there. I'm looking for someone who's willing to... well, be my coach as I build up consistency and word count.

That and, you know, help me just generally get better at all the things needed to be a professional writer -- those are just the two big ones I mainly want to work on.

I don't need constant communication from my mentor, but I think I do need a way to communicate with them that's consistent on my end -- internet allowing. A situation where I, say, have to report to them every day, but they only talk to me directly once a week, would work out.

That and I need them to call me the heck out on when I don't turn in my reports, because if they don't do that, I might turn a little flaky. Especially if I'm, say, not writing that day and feeling ashamed of myself.

So, about me:

As the title states, I'm a bit of a genre-hopper, though I stay pretty firmly in the Speculative Fiction side of things (sometimes with a splash of Horror). Most of my current stuff doesn't... really seem to be fitting in any of the more specific genres that well.

For example, I've got a video game inspired story in the works, but definitely not RPG inspired, or even featuring a separate "game world", so no LitRPG tag for me. I've got a Virtual Reality Game story idea up on the board for later, but there are no stats for it, and also no RPG elements (...Well, I guess you do roleplay, quite literally, but that's not the point), so that one's a bit iffy. I've also got a Superpower story right now, but currently no Superheros, so that's... a bit of a bust, too.

I'm also really interested in trying to write short stories and flash fiction right now, so you might get some of that, too.

As for style, when I'm doing my best, or have gotten all the polish on there, I tend to be pretty action-oriented. Not that there's always going to be explosions or fight scenes or stuff like that (though there will be, a little bit), but I tend to do my best when there's people there doing stuff.

I'm also drawn to the dramatic. I like scenes where people are feeling things, and realizing things, and I don't want it to be just straight navel-gazing -- I want them to have the deep thought, and then something happens.

I also like things to be really, really, really complex. Systems, styles, worlds... I like them to be challenging and engaging. Like, I'm not too drawn to sitting on a system until the end of time, or building a world out until it's perfect, but I like things complicated because it makes my job hard. Generally speaking, there's at least one thing per novel-length story that's exceedingly complicated, just because I like it that way. The only exception to that rule is What We Found in the Fire, and that's because I only came up with the idea a week ago as a flash fiction piece. It'll probably get there in a month or so.

So, that's that. If you're curious about anything, just ask.
First, I would say not to focus on word count too much. If you don't feel like writing, don't write and leave it for another day. Being burdened by word count early on will only lead to your quality dropping, and later, the inconsistencies in your writing.
(15-08-17, 12:58 AM)anything_only Wrote: First, I would say not to focus on word count too much. If you don't feel like writing, don't write and leave it for another day. Being burdened by word count early on will only lead to your quality dropping, and later, the inconsistencies in your writing.

It depends on the person and what level they're at, I guess, but I find that if I let myself slip too much then I never write.  To me, writing fiction is just at the stage of hard where it's... a chore to write it.  And you know what I do with chores?

Put them off.  Procrastinate.

It's why NaNoWriMo is so good for me, even though I've only won it once.  It puts me in a position where I have to write, every day.  Sure, there may be bad words in there that I need to edit out, but on the flip side there's also a lot of good words that wouldn't have come out if I hadn't have pushed through.  It's a trade off -- you get less good words percentage wise, but more good words overall.

And then there's the whole pottery class story that gets passed around.  The story goes, a college pottery teacher essentially split his class in half and decided that one half was graded by the weight of pottery they made, while the other half of the class would be graded on one piece of pottery, which had to be perfect.  The semester went, on and on, and one half of the class created like crazy while the other refined and refined.

At the end of the class, those that improved the most?  Those that where graded by weight, who had created more work and practiced more overall.  The more you make, the more chances you have to improve.

More than that, I don't want to just be a writer -- I want to be a paid writer, which means being a certain level of both professional and prolific.  As already stated, that's about 2,000 words a day, at minimum.  And, well, as part of being professional you need to be on top your game too, and doing your best to be producing good work, which means you need to plan ahead to write good words.

I mean, I'm a lot of things, but I'm not really a total newb to writing.  I just suck at getting work done in a timely manner.  And maybe I'm overestimating my skill at storytelling, but when you weigh average writing skills against subpar work-management skills, I really think the work-management skills should come first.  Because you can get places with average art, but you can't get anywhere if that art never gets done.

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