1. aimi_aiko
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    aimi_aiko Contributing Member

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    Based off a true story

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by aimi_aiko, May 8, 2013.

    I'm thinking about writing a love story based off of my fiance and I because it's basically like a forbidden love story. It'd be quite interesting. But my issue is, I have no clue where to start. I'm not sure if I should start the story from before we met, or start the story during our "talking" stage.

    I've been wanting to write this for quite some time, but I'm stuck. Starting a story or novel has always been the hardest part for me.

    Any advice? Thanks.
     
  2. blackstar21595
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    blackstar21595 Contributing Member

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    Start it as close to the end as possible if it's a short story.
     
  3. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    Or as close to the beginning as possible if it is a novel
     
  4. aimi_aiko
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    aimi_aiko Contributing Member

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    It's going to be a novel. But I'm not sure if I should start before he and I met, or after we start talking (being interested in each other).
     
  5. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    My guess is you could start right at the moment you met for the first time.
     
  6. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, start from when the characters meet. Then the reader knows what's the goal. "Will they end up together or won't they"... unless the reader knows this happened, like, you want the blurb say "this is the true story of how Jane and Joe fell in love and after many hardships, finally got each other". Then they'll go "how will they end up together?"
     
  7. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Start it from the point when it changed your life. Is this about falling in love, or is this about overcoming obstacles to keep and nurture and grow a real relationship? Depending on that, you may have a different starting point. Or if you say it's forbidden - start on an occasion when it's particularly memorable when you got in trouble for seeing him, or he got in trouble for seeing you.

    Basically, when did you life turn upside-down? From there, you can go backwards or forwards, explaining details as you go.
     
  8. blackstar21595
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    blackstar21595 Contributing Member

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    To me, the hard thing about this would be how to make the two meet and not make the meet-up seem cliche.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    make up your own mind!

    it doesn't matter where you start it... what matters is that you start it in a way that will capture the attention of the readers and tell it in a way that will keep them reading till they get to the end... period!

    there is no right/wrong or best/worst way to start any story, regardless of any of the posters' personal preferences stated above as if each one is a 'rule'...

    and, fyi, correct grammar is 'based on'... not 'off' or worse yet, 'off of'... ;)

    love and hugs, maia
     
  10. hummingbird
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    hummingbird Member

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    I would think the biggest factor is whether or not you have anything interesting or important to say about the meeting itself. If you do, start before it. If you don't, start after it.
     
  11. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    In such cases even when the meeting is uninteresting it usually is really important to the story.
     
  12. aimi_aiko
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    aimi_aiko Contributing Member

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    Yeah, I'm completely stuck still. I was writing down all of the story's info last night, and I still don't know where to start. I really don't want to start it off boring because I do not want to lose a reader's interest.

    Also, when using the real characters in the story, would I get in trouble if I used everyone's real names? Or should I change them for confidentiality reasons? Also, how would that work regarding the people who are included - should they have a say rather or not they should appear in the story? How does that work exactly?
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...you certainly can get in trouble if you use real people's actions and names... you can be sued for invasion of privacy, libel and who knows what else, if you don't have signed releases from each and every one of them...

    ...yes, you need to ask them if they mind you using them in your story...

    ...how it works is you have a literary attorney draw up a release form for them to sign... and if they don't want to, you'd better not make any of your characters' names/appearance/actions be recognizable as those people...

    ...don't go by any answers you get here [including mine]... you need to consult an attorney who specializes in literary matters...
     
  14. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If it's a true story, the meet-up is what it is. One just has to write in an interesting and fresh way so it wouldn't come off cliché-ish (if that's a bad thing. Whoever reads this would be prepared for clichés anyway, I bet. Forbidden love is such).
     
  15. Somnus
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    Somnus Member

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    If you're basing this on your real experience (and are not, I presume, used to writing romance), I'd suggesting sticking to reality as much as you can. That way you'll be able to integrate your emotions better (as you won't have to adjust them to a new situation and whatnot) and you won't necessarily have to worry about plot holes. You might have to make sure the reader knows WHY Action A led to Reaction B, but barring that your story should remain relatively understandable.
    For clichés: there are only so many ways one can fall in love. Even if it seems overdone and cliché, your personal love of story has never been lived (or written) before. While it may integrate some very common incidents (I'm no good at romance, either written or in real life, so I won't be offering examples), the overall ''story arch'' is unique.

    As my last point, addressing your ''real names/real character'' issues: I am obviously not professionally prepared to answer to this question, for reasons relating to my age, profession, inexperience, and what-have-you (thus, I am under no legal responsibility for consequences deriving from my advice, and you should instead consult a legal specialist or somebody of the like). However, from what I know of such matters, using real names is to be avoided as much as possible. Such people may not wish to be featured in your story (invasion of privacy, as was stated in another post), which can stir up legal troubles (in case it wasn't obvious, you want to avoid these). Modify the names and personalities of these people as much without tearing a gaping hole in your story, and you should be fine. See the above disclaimer before applying this, however.
     
  16. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    If he uses different names and identifiers (addresses, cars etc) and a disclaimer at the beginning saying that this is a work of fiction and any similarity to real people or circumstances is coincidental, wouldn't he be OK legally? That's what a friend of mine was told from his publicist.
     
  17. The Peanut Monster
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    The Peanut Monster Senior Member

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    My own disclaimer: Though I'm a lawyer, I'm not an expert in privacy or media law, so better to consult a specialist.

    That said, I think you must be very careful when using real events or people to base a work of fiction. Mammamaia is right, you would almost certainly need the permission of all people involved. A disclaimer as mentioned will have no effect if there is no permission, because similarities are not coincidental at all - indeed they are purposeful.

    Also, even if you change the names, basic details etc, if an inference can be drawn that it refers to a specific person/company, etc, then there may be a cause of action.

    In short, to be safe you should get the permission of any people referred to. If you can't then its probably best to leave the character out.
     
  18. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    see peanut monster's post... if any of the people can still be recognized from their description and the events despite the changes, you can still be sued...
     
  19. huskies
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    huskies Member

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    I would start from before you met. it would start with what led you to meet in the first place the lead up the unexpected feeling that started the relationship the spark so to speak.
     
  20. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    Haven't read above posts so forgive me if I am repeating, but I will say this: Don't try to write everything that happened between the two of you, that's one of the major pitfalls of writing memoirs or stories base on true incidents (very very difficult to resist doing so because you remember everything vividly). Just like any other fictional story you would write decide the climax/the turning point of your love story (Is it finding out by others/family/society that you were in love that changes everything? That sort of thing) and then decide how to built up to that climax which will be the plot. May be secret meetings between the two of you, trying to hide your relationship or similar such incidents, will be a good start because it'll make the readers curious about it and will also foreshadow the forbidden love story that is going to unfold. "How you met" scene can be thrown in somewhere at an appropriate part of the story, not necessary that it has to be the opening scene. I know I am assuming a lot of things about your story, just trying to show you ways to decide the beginning.
     

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