1. NeilGregg
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    NeilGregg New Member

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    A little advice

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by NeilGregg, Mar 28, 2009.

    I would like to start of by apologising if this is a common question which has been answered time and time again. I have looked through a few pages of this forum but nothing jumped out at me regarding what I would like to know.

    Whilst starting a book/story is it a good idea to write random scenes which you have formulated in your head?

    For example, the main character/s is/are disturbed by an explosion and the sounds of fighting coming from just outside the room. On further inspection it is discovered that the castle, which the current scene is based in, has been invaded by some rather hideous creatures laying waste to the guards. Turning back into the room the character/s walk to a lever of sorts which reveals a secret passageway which is used to make an escape.

    I would be writing this down in more detail but I don't want to bore you with the long version. I really am new to writing but am wondering if this is a productive use of time. Even if I chose not to use scenes or ideas I write down would it be worth writing them down regardless?

    If it is worthwhile how much detail should I go into? Should I do the whole scene as though it was going to be part of the book or just just write down a quick description of what is happening and the possible outcome?

    Any advice will be greatfully received.
     
  2. Sound of Silence
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    Sound of Silence Member

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    Write what's in your head at the time, be it the beginning, middle or end of a piece of work. Whatever is getting your juices going. Don't worry about length, style, punctuation, just get it down. Editing comes later, word counts come later, just allow yourself to be passionate for a few hours before you slap on your editors cap.

    If it helps, brainstorm, if it helps, freewrite it, if it helps just jotting the odd sentence, do it. Whatever way you feel you're most in love with. Just don't worry and enjoy yourself with what you're doing.
     
  3. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    I occasionally write scenes that I have no intention of showing to anyone else. It's a good way to develop your characters, and can be useful for exploring plot avenues. Maybe you'll even decide to do something in the "real" story that you wouldn't have thought of otherwise.

    I think it's worth it, and I would write it just as seriously as the "real" story. Because you never know--it may end up being part of the real story at some point.
     
  4. crimsonrose
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    crimsonrose Senior Member

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    I do this all the time! I have discovered that if I actually write more than one story at a time, I become too distracted and nothign gets finished. Thus, I am putting my whole heart and soul into the current novel I'm writing, but I have at least 4 other little side projects. I get ideas for them, and go with it. I keep a folder in my comptuer for each one, filled with pictures that inspired the work and so on. And then I have different documents in that folder, with the most random information you can think of. Like "The main characters eyes are more silver than blue" and "the vampires aren't literally immortal, but instead must drink a potion to earn everlasting life". Any little tidbit that pops into my head, I type it out on a word document, with double spaces in between each idea/sentence.

    If it works for you, go for it. It's been productive to me thus far :)
     
  5. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    I actually think a lot of writers do this-- write scenes when they come to them. I do occasionally but I'm not really a heavy fiction writer or novelist so as I tend to write more poetry than anything else, it all comes at once. When I do write fiction, I can overplan (I have horribly long plot outlines... to the point that the plot outline could be a novel in and of itself...) I'm a bit of a perfectionist there.

    All of the friends I have irl that are writers of mainly fiction write the way you're describing- a scene at a time. Whether they use that in the final piece or not is never really known when they write it, but it's there because that's the best way to get it out on paper and allow you to continue writing from the beginning, if that makes sense.

    ~Lynn
     
  6. Castlesofsand
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    Castlesofsand Banned

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    It is a hard thing to balance what to show and what to tell. In truth you might not satisfy all readers. Some like to be led through a story, others like to paint the grey areas in themselves.

    What you have to do is peak their interest, hold it, but don't steer them. Draw the scene in, make them taste it, care for the character, the setting, the castle and such but don't make it like a grocery list of items. don't describe things that have no need to be mentioned, don't over-describe. Sometimes a moon is a moon, it doesn't have to be baneful/waxed/setting/blood-red.

    a delicate balance. first write, let it all out, then take a break and look at it again. The hardest part of editing your own work is letting go. The second is letting go of your suggestions to others work, both teach you something.

    good luck in your writing
    i wish you well
     
  7. bluejt2000
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    bluejt2000 Member

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    When I outline a novel I create a word file for each scene. Ideas for scene's don't always occur to me chronologically, though from an early stage I know the beginning and the end and therefore have an idea whether they will fit in or not, which also means moving the plot forward in some way. For major scenes my notes can be fairly extensive, for others they may be brief. But I never write a draft of a scene until I come to write the first draft of the entire novel, for I might later decide not to use it. Even after having outlined fully I might still change minor points as I write the first draft (I've even added fresh scenes, sub-plots and characters), which would mean reworking scenes that were already written.

    Since a novel has to start from somewhere and end somewhere, my advice is to pin down a beginning and an ending as quickly as possible and think of scenes to fill in the middle. Then, when you have the novel fully outlined, start drafting them.

    As I've said, I draft mine chronologically, but others write them in any order they feel like writing them, which can help to overcome writer's block.

    Ultimately, though, your methods should be what suits you. The above is just what works for me.
     
  8. NeilGregg
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    NeilGregg New Member

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    Thanks for the replies, it has helped me nicely.
     
  9. Kursal
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    Kursal Senior Member

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    Yes, it's a great idea because it can ground you in the story quicker than starting at the beginning can. I actually find that if I have some key scenes in my head I can't continue with something until it is committed to paper.
     
  10. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    When I am starting a new piece, I use an outline sort of like this:
    To keep track of all my characters and plot bits. Then I render the scene that was in my head, then I compare the two to see if the characters are true to themselves.

    ***********************

    That being said, this is a silly question that you ask. As you can see, everyone starts differently. Asking how another writer starts a story is sort of like asking how we get dressed in the morning; sure our process is valid for us, but it may not work for you at all. Try a few approaches and find what works best for you (it will be different than what works for one of us).

    Best of luck to you!
     
  11. bullets4booze
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    bullets4booze Member

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    My prime advice regarding this is.. don't take advice! You need to develop a writing process on your own. Everyone has their own techniques. I suggest you don't follow standards. :)
     

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