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Writing Books With No Writing Skills

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DennisDuty

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While looking at the next 10 years of my life, after my current project is a bit more automated... I know that writing fiction is something I 100% want to do... but I'm not very good at writing.

And to tell you the truth, I'm not sure I care enough about fiction to increase my skills.

When I write fiction, I don't write in the traditional way...
I flesh out characters, plots, landscapes, world geographies, factions, motivations behind conflicts.

I figure out the mechanics and rules of the fantasy magic systems within the universe. I give the world history, I set up conflicts, I explain how things work and the overall tone... but I write like a nonfictional historical writer...

I suck at actually writing fiction. Believable character dialogue, story structure, chapter cliffhangers, wording... I'm just not good at any of it.

But I DO have stories to tell, a fully fleshed-out fantasy universe I want to share. This is a universe that I think will make great novels, card games, videogames, comic books.

So what's a guy to do?
I could dedicate a TON of my time to learning the mechanics of writing... write a dozen practice books that take place in another universe... but every year I spend refining my skills is a year taken away from something else.

I can't realistically do EVERYTHING I want to do with my universe if I spend all my time learning to write. There's no way for me to become perfect at writing, at videogame creation, boardgame creation, comic book creation...

Brand Book
So here's the idea.. and I'm not sure if this is standard procedure or something new... but hear me out.

When I worked with Fortune 500 companies, they gave us "Branding Guides". These were binders filled with the rules for creating anything that represented the brand.

Use this shade of blue if designing against a dark background, use this shade if designing against a white background, never apply motion blur to the animated logo, never dissolve away from our product shots, all music must be alternative rock with a 4/4 time signature, never display this shade of red on the same screen as our logo, etc.

They detailed every little bit about their brand worked, including what the brand stood for, values they believed in, and visual style. They could hand off the same package to new freelancers and know that their guidelines would be upheld.

I can do the same thing with my universe.

I can create a book similar to the encyclopedias that franchises like Lord of the Rings and Star Wars put out for fans.
Han-Solo.png


Edit: I wouldn't create this for fans... if I did this for my universe, it would be locked behind the scenes, only available for people I hire.


I'd hire freelance artists to create depictions of my characters, buildings, species, creatures, etc. and throw them in the encyclopedia, along with maps of the world, how the science behind the magic system worked, etc.

From then, I can locate people who have written TOP TIER fantasy fan-fiction, or even fantasy ghostwriters, and hire them to write a story I outline, providing they follow the guidelines set within the book.

It's leveraging my skill as a nonfiction writer to become a usable asset. Suddenly, multiple books can be written simultaneously... Board game designers could be hired, videogame designers and comic book writers can be hired to all work on the series simultaneously, the single guidebook used as their bible as we update it to keep in line with new developments.

Would it work? Is this a technique others have done before? Is there a name for it? What do you think about this method of generating content?
 
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Last edited:

Stephanos83

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Did you happen to catch MJ's INSIDERS call on writing? I'm not sure if it was recorded, but it could help with this decision.

I think what you're saying can be done. No experience with this myself. However encyclopedia style books usually follow a series of books to tie everything together.

You should just write once a day for an hour at a time to see if it catches on. See if you catch the writing bug. Writing is deeply personal. I think you'll regret it if you put out a successful book and it wasn’t written with your voice. You can always write it in fragments and pay someone to help you edit and tie it together later on.
 

DennisDuty

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Did you happen to catch MJ's INSIDERS call on writing? I'm not sure if it was recorded, but it could help with this decision.

I think what you're saying can be done. No experience with this myself. However encyclopedia style books usually follow a series of books to tie everything together.

You should just write once a day for an hour at a time to see if it catches on. See if you catch the writing bug. Writing is deeply personal. I think you'll regret it if you put out a successful book and it wasn’t written with your voice. You can always write it in fragments and pay someone to help you edit and tie it together later on.

I caught the first half but I lost my internet connection.

I used to love writing... but I love my universe even more and I think it could benefit from more talented craftsmen than me working on it.

In television there's the producers and directors who handle the execution of an idea, and then there's the "showrunner" who's responsible for the look and feel.

JJ Abrams didnt direct every episode of Lost himself, but he was responsible for the concept, the world, the rules, and the direction.

I guess that's what I'm looking for... my vision, but it doesn't necessarily need to be my VOICE... if that makes sense.

and for clarification, the encyclopedia wouldn't be public... in fact, it leaking would be a detriment to all the secrets of the universe. It'd be internal only.

Sent from my KFTHWI using Tapatalk
 

Lauryn

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YES this can be done. So many authors do it and have done it.
You know why I think this would rock for you?

Because you have all the details and the nitty gritty, but you're not a writer.

You can create outlines of what happens, maybe some snippets of voice and quotes. You can dictate the story live and have it transcribed, then have the transcription stylized and edited. It's very possible.

And I'm familiar with brand guides. They're cool and if you can put them together for the story styles, that would be pretty dope for your writing team.
 

Stephanos83

Bronze Contributor
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Nov 17, 2013
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Try using the snowflake-method to outline your universe.

http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/articles/snowflake-method/

This is might be the best way to get your intent and creative process across to those who can help you craft your art.

Take care hiring. I think having multiple writers for the same story might have inconsistencies in the flow, writing and style of the story.

Hope you can direct a masterpiece. Good luck, should you decide to move forward.
 

DennisDuty

Mini Media Mogul
Read Fastlane!
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Jun 16, 2012
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Bali, Indonesia
Try using the snowflake-method to outline your universe.

http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/articles/snowflake-method/

This is might be the best way to get your intent and creative process across to those who can help you craft your art.

Take care hiring. I think having multiple writers for the same story might have inconsistencies in the flow, writing and style of the story.

Hope you can direct a masterpiece. Good luck, should you decide to move forward.

Thanks. Great resource. Bookmarked.

I was thinking of hiring multiple writers, but not to work on the same story... It might turn into 10 novellettes/short stories telling different stories in the same universe being written simultaneously. It might turn into writers writing an audio drama for broadcast. It's just nice to know what my options are if needed so I can pivot when the time comes.

Honestly, if I did something with this it wouldn't be for at least another 5-7 years... Too tied up with current ventures to focus on anything else.
But that doesn't stop me from getting these flashes of inspiration. I'll have to dedicate some time to figuring out the structure of an internal encyclopedia... So when I write down the ideas, it's in a way that's useful to a writer years in the future.
 
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M. Strahsberg

PARKED
Aug 27, 2014
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Read a lot of fiction books to have a grasp of how those authors portray better dialogues, plot structure, conflict, etc...
 

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