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Hi, I'm Sibo Makuza. I'm 17 years old (I know I'm young lol) and live in Zimbabwe. I wrote a YA sci-fi novel last year, and started submitting to agents. I got positive feedback, but nothing more than that. I knew then that my novel needed work. During my hunt for agents, I stumbled upon Jericho Writers, but couldn't afford to be a member. Till December 2019, there was an opportunity to apply for a free membership. I applied, I won it, I took it. 

I'm a fully fledged nerd that loves reading writing and sci-fi movies. If you've never heard of the Avengers, don't bother messaging me, haha (I'm joking). I'm currently editing my novel, and I'm thankful and lucky to be here.

Sibo Discussions
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TCK publishing has just announced a new poetry competition. I know some of you are interested in poe…
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  •  · Sibo,Thankyou for that. I am really sorry you are having to deal with some tough things right now. W…
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Hey, how are you? I asked this question about rewriting on Connie's forum, but since she left Townho…
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  •  · I get you! Thank you for responding Sarita. Stay blessed! 😊
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Does anyone else just come onto Townhouse, go through a bunch of forums, and think alright that's my…
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  •  · HI SiboMost people on here (if they are anything like me) jump on and off when they are ether: 1. su…
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This is my third time posting here (wow). You'd think it'd be less nerve-racking, haha.My name is Si…
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  •  · Fascinating, but what on earth does it mean?  You mean it isn't on Earth?
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If a book starts with a page of atmosphere, and world-building, I'm bored. I won't continue, and I w…
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  •  ·  I think it depends on the genre you are writing in. I read all manner of books. If it is a beautifu…
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Hi, I'm Sibo Makuza. I completed a novel last year, got rejections from agents, stumbled upon Jerich…
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When you say the front page, you mean like the homepage?? Try scrolling through the forums, when I have too many notifications I go there. Yea that's the kind of where all the "latest" posts are. 

Added a comment to New Member 

Lovely to meet you Ian, and good luck with everything! 

Congratulations Jane!!!!!!!! This is amazing feedback, and he's right don't let the rejections bite. Can't wait to one day see your name on a book shelf, I wish you the very best!

Hey Miriam, sorry for the late reply, we were experiencing network issues this side. But thank you so much for your kind words!! My novel isn't out yet, haha, but when it is, I'll certainly let you know! 

I'm so glad something clicked, can't wait to see your name one day on the book shelves!

Sorry about the spacing!! And yes, Detective Christmas Socks and Easter Underpants should be brought to life 😂😂

Hello Miriam, how are you? I can relate, I came up with idea for my novel when I was 10, and only eventually came up with a plot when I was 14. But once I actually started plotting, I had everything down in a week. How? I didn't know anything about writing, so I'm just going to tell you how it.happened, I didn't use any formulas or read any articles otherwise I would reference you. I'm going to shamelessly plug myself here because the best I can give you is my own experience.

My idea since I was 10 was, I wanted to right about a black girl who absorbed gamma rays. The question was HOW she would develop this power. I didn't want her to get her powers through some cliche lab aaccident or get her powers through some alien artifact that — shocker — the US government wants and they hunt her down because — another shocker — she's a "weapon of mass destruction" blah, blah. I didn't want that either. 

For a while, like 2-3 years, I wrestled with the idea of her being an alien, but I didn't like it. See, I'd originally based this girl off me, and spoiler alert, I'm not an alien. 

So one day in Physics class, when I was 14, we were discussing aliens. I asked my teacher if he believed in them, and he said yes. There are billions of galaxies out there, it's kind of selfish for us to think we're the only ones. 

That got me thinking back on my novel. Then the grand idea just hit me. What if she's from Earth, but raised on another planet? A planet with the advanced technology to make a non-cliche accident, and then I went on... If she's adopted by the king or president of the planet — we won't get a cliche government chase. 

Brilliant. I had it. And I never looked back.

What took me a week was figuring why and how she comes bk to Earth.

So, what have we learned from this story?

1. @Miriam, write what you want to right.  Ask yourself, deep down, what do you want to write about it? You may not have all the details yet, but you may know the type of character, the genre, and stuff like that. Write because you want to write, write out of passion. Find the story you want to tell, and tell it.

2. Start with character. It's okay to be completely blank. And it's okay to have ideas that need developing. 

Start by either creating or developing your character. Miriam, you said you wanted to create intriguing characters, start by creating them. Once you've created a character, it's easier to create a story for them. I would never have thought of an alien girl from Earth but raised on another planet, if it were not for my initial gamma girl. Create your characters first, and let them guide you on your story to take. You might come up with a character and think hey, "she needs a romantic partner... Tada, romance novel. Or, tada... Psychological thriller. Which leads me to my next point.

2. Genre. 

Ask yourself what genre you want to write in. This might be based off of your character, or just generally the genre you want to write in. And it's okay to want to write in multiple genres, but come on, we need a first novel here, so pick one and let's move on.

3. Idea. 

This is the part  I wrestled with. This is the part you may also be wrestling with most. Now, unfortunately for you, I cannot give you an idea or help you create one. But based off of my experience, I can help you expand on your idea. It took me four years to plot my first book, but two months for my second, I learnt from my first experience, otherwise I wouldn't have written this whole essay.

Miriam, you said you have ideas, but they're not what you want to them to be. Similar to 10 year old me. This is what you can do.

1. Smudge those ideas together. If one idea doesn't seem strong enough, combine it with another idea. 

Lab accident? Too cliche. Alien? Heard it before? Alien lab accident? Not too bad. Alien lab accident with a mystery — no one knows how it happened, and we don't find out to the end of the series? Perfect. 

So, try and add your ideas together, even mix genres together, it's allowed. 

2. Add a great premise to your initial idea.

A teenage girl saves the world? We've heard it before. A teenage girl saves the galaxy, still heard it before. 

To save the galaxy, an alien girl, has to return to her home planet, Earth. What's so special about Earth? And what's so special about this girl?

Try to come up with a great premise for your idea/ideas. For example, if your idea was "an ordinary murder" add a greater premise. Raise the stakes darling, let's have the president murdered by his mother. 

And that brings me to my next and final point.

3. Add a killer twist.

A twist is simply an "I did not see that coming." The more, the merrier. If you decide on one major killer twist, make sure your book isn't boring up until that point, which is why, regardless, you need a good premise.

Once you have everything, you can come up with a pitch.

Pitch: The president's murder was a shock to everyone. The number one suspect was naturally the opposition leader: Senator Christmas Socks, who was known for never being afraid to get his hands dirty. But when Detective Easter Underpants goes deeper into the case, she discovers it could've have been Christmas socks after all, the only people who could've murdered the president, were his family.

Then the elevator pitch is something like, "Detective Easter Underpants has to figure out which family member of the president, killed the president."

And then once you have your pitch, congratulations Miriam, you're only done with the first part of plotting. This is now when you go back up to Rick's comment and study Inciting incidents, midpoint shift and the like. 

I've been typing since 7:00am, lol, I hope this helps you Miriam!!!

Added a post 

Hey guys, I'm so sorry you haven't heard from me in a while. It's been really stressful back home with my parents getting a divorce and then their finance struggles, I'm the only child at home so it definitely took a toll on me.

But good-ish news, my time gone wasn't wasted. I definitely have been working on my novel since, and I'm close to finishing editing. Might even show something from it here soon. Might 😂

But I'm more concerned about how you guys are. I hope everyone is well. I'm getting back on my feet and I'll be more active. 

The point is: how are you?

Added a forum 

TCK publishing has just announced a new poetry competition. I know some of you are interested in poetry, so I thought I'd let you know. However, you have to pay 5 US dollars to sign up , but you can submit as many poems as you want. But is that legit? Is paying for competitions a normality in the writing world? 

Cash prize: 1000USD and top 20 candidates get promo.

Either way, if you're interested there's the link

PS: I apologise for being inactive here on Townhouse I'm going through some emotional stuff and it's been tough.

PS: If you decide to enter the contest, good luck!

If you don't hear from me ever again, it's because I died of the heat. 32 degrees Celsius at 3:30 pm, and it's going to be like this till November when it rains. 

Added a forum 

Hey, how are you? I asked this question about rewriting on Connie's forum, but since she left Townhouse and deleted her account (moment of silence please) I was unable to read any responses, so I'm asking question.

Is there a difference between rewriting and editing? This might seem super obvious, but it confuses me because people talk about how they're rewriting their novel for the 7th time, and I haven't rewritten it once. Sure, I'm editing it in it, but isn't editing in it's own sense a rewrite? I mean, if you edit it properly. So I'm confused. Is it because some stories are off the rocks and need a massive rewrite, or is there something I missed? Please do enlighten.

And also, have you rewritten your novel before? What motivated you to do it? 

Added a post 

I have to change my profile now coz I'm 17 now 😂 

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