1. WhispWillow
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    WhispWillow Contributing Member

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    Before writing a novel

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by WhispWillow, Nov 2, 2006.

    You need to put some thought into it and ask yourself questions about it.
    Where's it going to take place? What's the time period? Who is the main character/s?
    What is the conflict that will arise if any?
    and so on..

    I say this because it is important when writing a novel, to have these things covered.

    Also, if you wish to write a great book, take your time with it. Don't rush, just for the sake of getting it out there.
    If you do this you might have that feeling of: "Well my book is good, but if I had put more time and thought into it would it have been better?"

    You must consider this things because they are important factors when writing a novel.
     
  2. Esaul
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    Esaul Member

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    TECHNICALLY you do not need to worry about them so much when you are just starting out a new story idea. You should let them come to you for at least a chapter r two so you have a basic starting point, and from there think more or less what your protagonist and your antagonist is as well as a little more about your setting in a bit more detail. I find trying to start by asking myself where it takes place, and what characters are in it is far too difficult since I don't have a starting point yet.
     
  3. Fixed
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    Fixed Member

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    I used to think and write in the same way as you did Esaul until I quickly found out that if I did just write and let things "flow into my mind" a lot of silly mistakes which I can't undo unless I rewrite the entire thing.

    What whispwillow is proposing is asking really simple questions that aren't even set in stone yet. these questions are simple and short and in the long run will hardly have anything to do with your end story.

    An example. one day I just started writing this fantasy novel set two thousand years in the future or something, earth was destroyed and several alien species were discoverred. My MC was of the six alien races and then it suddenly ocurred to me that a human main character would've been a lot easier and better to read and write about, I decided to work around this but I suddenly found out that I had to explain huge portions of the past to even get the reader to understand what I was talking about (I don't mean just the past of the MC but of the entire world) and that past might as well have been an entire other book so I scrapped the book. why? not because I didn't write it well or because I didn't like it, simply because when I was editting my chapter I noticed how unrealistic and confusing this would sound to anyone who read it. such as, if eart was destroyed why did the aliens adopt the fighting styles of humans and why are many of the human animals shown in the book?
     
  4. Esaul
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    Esaul Member

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    That is why they are called drafts. I have learned that the hard way. I have five versions of the same story, and I have yet to finish a single one.
     
  5. AeroDillo
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    AeroDillo Member

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    I've never bothered with putting exact dates on things. As a general rule, I've found that a relative figure is usually good enough (before the war, during the party, after dark, etc).
     
  6. IW-Cavalier
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    IW-Cavalier Member

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    Yeah I usually wing it and I never finish anything but I can't say I'm a good writer. o.o From what I do though, I get a very vague and general idea of what I'm going to do with a story, and after that I take each step of the process and the plot one burst of inspiration at a time.
     
  7. Ennubi
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    Ennubi Member

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    lemme see....i'm actually within about 30k of finishing my first one (about a 1/5 completion rate). i actually try to avoid dates if at all possible- too confining and can put you out of date too fast (but you guys are sci-fi, right? i live northwest in urban fantasy).

    what's been killing me is chronology. it's hard to find out if gmail and american idol were going on 5 years after the columbine massacre! thank goodness for wikipedia!

    ennubi
     
  8. Onoria Westhrop
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    Onoria Westhrop Contributing Member

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    Yeah, Wikipedia is great! Occasionally woefully inaccurate, other times suprisingly detailed. Research made easy...
     
  9. Torpeh
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    Torpeh Member

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    Indeed. I find the 'Random Article' button on Wikipedia very useful for inspiration, and the website's handy for homework too.

    Anyway, I think a lot of it depends of the genre that an author intends to write. For example, a fantasy world would require much more planning than setting a story in your town for a crime thriller, or the like.
     
  10. Lily
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    Lily Member

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    I always have my stories completely planned out, complete with buying maps and books on the area they are to take place. I like to know the area, feel like a native, know the landscape, the animals, the types of plants and trees, the weather conditions, etc. It helps me feel like I'm really there. Mostly I write historical pieces and I always base my plots around what it going on in that period of time.
     
  11. Saya
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    Saya Member

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    Different people have different methods of plot development. The first is to plan our your story, chapter by chapter, page by page, so that oyu know exactly what is going to become of your character, no surprises. The other tactic is to just write and see where your imagination takes oyu. It may sound corny but I've produced some of my best stuff that way. Before starting, though, I do think it's improtant to have a lsight gist of what you're actually going to write. Let the plot twists come later. Knowing your character is a good thing too. Also, a very important key is to choose your view--1st, 2nd, 3rd omnicient, 3rd single minded. Also, be sure to distinguish between past, present and future tense.

    Ach, g2g. Can't finish this now unfortunately.
     
  12. Robert
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    Robert Banned

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    As Saya says, different writers have different ways of working. It's short-sighted to think we all need to work the same way or follow the same process. What matters most is the final version.

    Cheers,
    Rob
     
  13. xArix
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    xArix Member

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    The way I write I have the basic idea of the story in my head, then let my imagination flow, as Saya said.:rolleyes: Planning is a bit too tedious for me, and can ruin perfect bursts of inspiration I receive from listening to music. Although, it does make some parts of my stories really weird, I think Fabula is a very different matter now.:p

    My dad thinks I should list down the chapter names and write down the plot and follow it. I find myself confined if I do that, so I'm not too enthusiastic to follow that piece of advice. I do pretty fine my way, and my way I shall forever follow.;)
     

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