View Full Version : Anybody Ever Written A Book?

11-23-2003, 09:27 AM
If there are posters who have written a book sometime in their lives, I'd appreciate a PM to let me know how they got started and what ideas they had for the subject matter. Sean Connery playing an author in a movie said to "just start writing" and the book would take it's natural course. That seems puzzling to me right from the start, but it also seemed blatently simple, possibly possible. Any thoughts on this?

I feel a compulsion to create something meaningful during my mid life crisis and would appreciate some advice.


11-23-2003, 05:58 PM
Sid, I've written a book and I think it's pretty good, but it's still unpublished. It is mighty tough to get an agent to even look at a partial submission, but I'm pretty sure that's the way you have to begin. It may never be seen in print, but I had fun doing and re-doing it.

If you want to write, write about something you know, and my advice is to write about yourself. Not an autobiography, but a written record of your life that you can leave for the enlightenment of your kids and grandkids, or anyone else who might be interested. No need to write 400 pages; shoot for 60 - 100. It is not likely it will be published, anyway.

Be honest and make it easy and interesting reading. Bear in mind that you will be judged by it, to some extent, someday. Don't put in any fiction or lies, but don't make it a confession, either. Write what you want people to know about you.

Write it as a narrative or break it down into chapters. Make one about your home town, one about your school days, your military days, your original family, your work record and experiences, sports, your marriage and kids, etc.

If you are hoping to make money, get a second job. But if you want to do something interesting and productive, write your own story. Other ideas will come to you as you go along. Maybe enough for a book or two. Sit down, get comfortable and hit that keyboard.

11-23-2003, 09:45 PM
That's what I kind of felt like doing. I was raised as a tenant farmer's son till 13, miles out in the delta land away from town, so all my memories are about fishin', huntin', pets(including the farm animals) and Mom fixin' big ol' dinners and suppers...all stuff very genuine, different than what the town kids knew I'm sure. Ok, I've got the incentive, and no I'm not thinking of making a dime. I just feel it is important to make a dent in something.

God knows I'll not scare the billiard world...well maybe....sid~~~not done yet in getting better at this game!

11-23-2003, 10:39 PM
Sid, you just gave the whole plot away

11-24-2003, 07:00 AM

I started writing two books, one which I got half way through. Then I did not write for awhile and already I want to change parts of it. I just want to get my writings into vanity books for my family. Not to publish, because it is so personal.

What I did was think a lot about the major sections I wanted in the book and just start writing on the first part. You can always change it later as I may do.

I met a lady once who did not think she was a good writer but had written some marvelous short stories that were also humorous about her experiences with her brother growing up. I thought they were great!!!

Just start writing. I bet you have more than you can possibly put down on paper.


11-24-2003, 07:57 AM
Hello Sid,

It is amazing to me that you ask this question now...I just went to a book signing by James Patterson (Along Came the Spider, Kiss the Girls, etc). He gave a 30 minute talk before he started signing books and after his talk, he took questions. Some in the crowd asked him, "How do you start out writing one of your books"? Patterson told him, that he has tons of ideas that he has written down over the years. When he is ready to write the next book, he will take some ideas and do a brainstorming session and just write stuff onto a piece of paper. The next step is to write out an outline (He strongly suggested doing this as it will save you tons of time compared to just start writing). After that, he begins writing the story, and goes through multiple drafts.

Hope that helps,


11-24-2003, 11:22 AM
Some of the fantasy authors do not like to plan anything but creatively come up with the story and dialog in their heads. My brother is the webmaster for Terry Brooks and I have met Terry and been to his house(could it be nicer..no?)several times. He spends over a month just writing his outline..plots/battles/etc. Right down the line and then doesn't deviate from that..usually. The guy puts out a book every year. Got his law degree, but wrote Sword of Shannara while he was going to school and never practiced law. A ton of best selling books, and multi-millions later, he has a beautiful house in Seattle and a Japanese style house on the 17th green where they hold the Skins golf tourney in Hawaii. Man I need to write a book. www.terrybrooks.net (http://www.terrybrooks.net)

11-24-2003, 12:58 PM

I for one year worked as a Doolde-Bugger, that's what Kris Kristopherson also did before going on to be a song writer. My job involved flying into remote areas sometimes by helicopter, setting up navigation towers for oil exploration, and steering the boat through triangulation. The first 3 months I leap-frogged down the west coast of Africa, living in a tent for weeks, and then moving as the boat changed to a new area of the field. I learned two things, I could read "fat" books in a day(I was one of the ones who looked for skinny books for reports in school) and I could write letters that according to my sister, were very good. She gave me the idea back then in the early 80's that I could write, and I've never forgotten about it. Now as life moves into it's latter stages, I am nagged with the idea even more, as I said in an earlier reply, to make a dent. Had I known then what I know now, I would have written a massive collection of something while I was camped out, listening to the jungle sounds, with nothing much else left to do. Funny how much you think about in the solitude of being alone in the middle of nowhere like I was. I can understand how Kristopherson dug up much of his material.

Do you use a desktop publishing program? It seems that I hear that people usually write long hand, and yet the power of the PC seems so applicable.


11-24-2003, 01:19 PM
eg8r...I wonder if that guy wrote his first book like that. Thing is, I'm intimidated by the venture and wonder wheteher I might get stuck in neutral if I try to work out a structure before establishing the idea or getting the feeling that "I can do this." I am getting some great advice so far, thanks.


11-24-2003, 03:01 PM
Sid, you might consider starting with a few short stories about your experiences. Don't try to do a full-scale book, but write about that week you spent doing "X", or your best friend when you were 13, or the first time you fell in love, or that one time you won the tournament, or what it meant to you to know that special lady. The idea is to write about one single thing at a time. It might end up being a series of short stories, or it might meld itself into an autobiography, or it might even morph into a novel. But I suspect it'd be initially easier to write that one thing about that one topic than starting out trying to write an entire book. Good luck!

11-24-2003, 03:42 PM
Do you use a desktop publishing program? It seems that I hear that people usually write long hand, and yet the power of the PC seems so applicable. <hr /></blockquote> Eventhough I am by no means a writer, I would use the PC first. I can type light-years faster than I can write. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif I am sure speed is not an issue in terms of finishing, however, my mind tends to wander fairly easily, and if I don't get it down on paper (or the computer) I will forget it. This way, as I am thinking I can be typing away. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif Much like I do here.


11-24-2003, 04:17 PM
Thing with me is that I can edit so swiftly with the word processing abilities of these things, much much faster. Cut &amp; paste alone is worth it imo. The only valuable thing I can imagine about longhand drafts would be the originality, but since those are only valuable after you are dead and gone, SCREW THAT REASON! Seriously though, I find it more fun on the PC, besides I can keep the CCB running in the background ;-) sid

11-24-2003, 06:49 PM
I feel a compulsion to create something meaningful during my mid life crisis and would appreciate some advice.
<hr /></blockquote>

I'm wondering what is a mid-life crisis? I mean, maybe I had one and I'm already over it. Or maybe I haven't had one as yet. Mayby I'm having one, I would pack up and leave here, the city or state for a better opportunity. Course I've thought about that one for a while. I doubt writing is any kind of answer, at least for me. So what is the crisis? Sorry no help on the book or whatever.


11-24-2003, 08:11 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Sid_Vicious:</font><hr> Laura,

Do you use a desktop publishing program? It seems that I hear that people usually write long hand, and yet the power of the PC seems so applicable.


<hr /></blockquote>


My penmanship is the pits. I write in word. My cousin is a vanity publisher so she has told me how much it costs to take my word pages and to make it into a book.

Sounds like you have some rather amazing stories to tell. One piece of advice, tell it your way in your own personal style. Writing in a person's own style is way better, imo. When trying to imitate someone else's style it comes across 'stiff'.


11-24-2003, 09:11 PM

Sid, I have never written a book, but I know someone who has. Check out this site. Claiborne was the top comtroller with the old Piedmont Airlines when they were bought by US Air. He had never had any writing experience, but he decided he would take some time to try his hand. He had been given a pretty good severance package, so he bought a boat and cruised a portion of the Intercoastal Waterway. His goal was to take a sabatical at the governments expense. The game plan was to check out all of the marinas, restaurants, and other points of interest and write a book about them for other boaters. Originally, he thought he would take about a year, have some fun, then find a real job. To his amazement the book was a success and he decided to write another. Til this day, he is still looking for new waterways to write about and having the time of his life. He can now be seen on cable on Saturday Mornings doing a program on new boats. His role is to kind of give the "Siskel and Ebert" review on the boats performance and amenities. I would say that Claiborne hit paydirt when he lost his job. Good luck to you Sid! It sounds like you have some pretty good stories yourself. Lock /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

11-25-2003, 07:33 AM
It's not really an imminent crisis and yet since the world has gotten ugly at the USA with an almost sanctioned percentage of support, my retirement so far off after the bubble burst that it hurts to even think about retirement anymore, and the singularity of my life is about locked in for eternity(no lady on my horizon plus I don't even care), I tend to feel some things that resemble a reason for more than usual concern, hence the word crisis. Actually though Rod we all have reason for serious thinking. This country, this lifestyle, the security of everyone could change as quickly as 9-11. Making a personal decision to make a dent in something before another such event happens makes a little more sense to me today than it did previously. Whacky or overboard? Maybe. Physical security, economical security and personal security has never been touchier in my life time except for the Bay of Pigs, and I never knew about that until years after it happened, so it doesn't count.

As a friend of mine used to say "It's just a thang." I never really knew what that meant, maybe that's why I remembered it so well, kinda like the TK6 plate on Eddie's Cadillac(sp?). Somebody made a point of putting that personalized plate on, that guy knows something we all need to know. sid

Chris Cass
11-25-2003, 12:50 PM
I sure wish #### Leonard would think about writing one. I think it would sell.



11-25-2003, 01:22 PM
LOL, as long as he promises not to publish anything about politics. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif Stick to pool. Well, and anymore good golf stories. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

eg8r &lt;~~~Sure wish Howie Pearl would write one also

Keith Talent
11-26-2003, 04:10 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Sid_Vicious:</font><hr> That's what I kind of felt like doing. I was raised as a tenant farmer's son till 13, miles out in the delta land away from town, so all my memories are about fishin', huntin', pets(including the farm animals) and Mom fixin' big ol' dinners and suppers...all stuff very genuine, different than what the town kids knew I'm sure. <hr /></blockquote>

If you're looking for some inspiration along these lines, you might check out something by Harry Crews ... he wrote at least one fascinating book on his experiences growing up in rural Georgia ... he's probably better known for his strange tales about carnies and assorted sideshow freaks, but this one piece of his -- "Childhood: A Biography of a Place) -- I read about growing up in Bacon County, Ga., was amazing.

This from the publisher, via bn.com

A Childhood is the unforgettable memoir of Harry Crews's earliest years, a sharply remembered portrait of the people, locales, and circumstances that shaped him - and destined him to be a storyteller. Crews was born in the middle of the Great Depression, in a one-room sharecropper's cabin at the end of a dirt road in rural south Georgia. If Bacon County was a place of grinding poverty, poor soil, and blood feuds, it was also a deeply mystical place, where snakes talked, birds could possess a small boy by spitting in his mouth, and faith healers and conjure women kept ghosts and devils at bay. At once shocking and elegiac, heartrending and comical, A Childhood not only recalls the transforming events of Crews's youth but conveys his growing sense of self in a world "in which survival depended on raw courage, a courage born out of desperation and sustained by a lack of alternatives."

Good luck getting it down ... hell, it's all experience, whatever the setting.

11-27-2003, 02:07 AM
If you want to see a prime example of how not to write a book check out this work of fiction entitled "The Holy Bible."


11-27-2003, 10:32 AM
As many of you know, I have written a book, "The Green Felt Jungle". It was published by a publisher in Canada who had a unique offer in the financial end of the deal, I took a chance being a gambler, and have done very well with the book. Don't hesitate to sit down and give it a try, I had no writing experience and the total experience was terrific. /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif <font color="blue"> </font color>

11-27-2003, 08:12 PM
With 'publishing on demand' anyone can write a book and get it published. Here's one source: http://www.lulu.com/ and a quick Google search will turn up dozens more.

They can help you with cover design and list it on Amazon for you. The book is stored as a digital file and only printed when an order is placed.

So what are you would-be authors waiting for? Get out there and write the great American novel! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif