1. Spacer
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    Spacer Active Member

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    Blank Page - Now What?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Spacer, Jan 13, 2011.

    I want to write science fiction. The operative word here is fiction, in that I need to come up with proper stories. I found a book "20 Master Plots", and I've read the sticky thread on the difference between plot and storyline. So what I really mean is that I need to come up with interesting story lines.

    How do I learn?

    A more basic task of "writing" is easily practiced, but only after I already have something to say. The fiction part is a whole new ballgame.

    There must be some way of practicing story-line creation before I'm fully capable of spinning complete and compelling yarns, right?

    Any suggestions or discussion, please?
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Have you tried a story generator ?
     
  3. Spacer
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    Spacer Active Member

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    What is a story generator, and where might I try one?
     
  4. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    I used to have the same problem (lack of storyline), but once my characters started to come alive and have a will of their own, the storylines started to build themselves.

    Also, I think once you get the hang of characterisation and exposition, they actually help to build the storyline. For example, if you need to show the reader that the intersteller drive in your story is dangerous, you include an episode where it malfunctions and almost kills the crew - the subplot follows from your need for exposition.
     
  5. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    type seventh sanctum into google - it just gives you a rough plot idea ie a character, a place, a theme etc Might help spark your creativity. Sorry i can't be more use I have opposite problem too many ideas.
     
  6. Jonalexher
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    Jonalexher Contributing Member

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    Simply start writing about something, just write. Like Stephen King said: Don't only be the writer of your work, be its first reader. Discover what you're writing as you write it.

    Seventh Sanctum is a pretty good site, used it myself. It's a good "brain heater"
     
  7. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with Jonalexher. Just write.

    Write for five minutes none stop. Write whatever comes into your head even if it is only 'I can't think what to write - I can't think what to write... sooner or later something will pop into your head and you'll write it down. Maybe nothing will come of what you've written but try this five minute exercise a few times and you may come up with a few gems to work on.
     
  8. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    You don't need a plot to start writing. If anything, you could just write scraps & scrips of prose till something comes to you.

    There. No plot. No plot in mind either. just an image.

    -Frank
     
  9. vanarie
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    vanarie Senior Member

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    Focusing on the characters in your story can also help you develop the plot. Is a character a womanizer? Is he chivalrous and morally strict?

    Is a female character a seductress? Does she manipulate the men around her?

    Take two characters and force them to interact through dialog. How would they talk to each other?

    Betty and John

    Betty : Cares only about wealth
    John : Cares only about saving the people on the planet Maduppa
    Lyres : Republican guard that controls Maduppa

    Betty looks at John's tattered clothing and says, "You won't ever be able to stop the Lyres." John slams down his glass and grabs the woman by the collar of her tunic. "You're only here for diamonds. What do you know about the rebellion?"
    "I know that it will never work. Because the Lyres are here for diamonds too. And there are too many in the hills of Maduppa for them to worry about a few dead bodies."
    "These aren't bodies. They are men, and woman. Descendants of Earth just like you or me. These are god damned people dying here. And they were here long before the Lyres came. Long before the Lyres made humans fight each other. This is human land. How can you sit here and act like they are no more important than the damn rocks being torn out of the ground?"
    "Because John, those rocks in the land, they actually have value. They can get me off this godforsaken rock. And if you want my help, you will tell your friends in the resistance to get me as many as they can find. And when I have enough, I'll get you the digital key that unlocks the Lyre mainframe."

    I wrote that just after doing the brief description of the characters. It's really not about the quality as it is about setting up something that you can build on. You can always go back and re-write, re-write, re-write.

    Hope this helps, cheers.
     
  10. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    Your approach sounds very cold to me, like you want to know how to bake a great chocolate cake and need a recipe. That's not creative but a technical exercise. It's not how I enjoy writing and I don't know how a you could really get into the process doing it by numbers.

    What do you like in science fiction and what do you think is cool? What's a cool story you've read or an author you like?
     
  11. Torkyn
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    Torkyn Member

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    Ok by the sound of your question your the kind of guy like me who likes to plan out what he's doing before he gets started. I'm not one of those writers who can just write from nothing it just never comes to me.

    My suggestions as with anything to do with story creation is start with the characters. Who is your protagonist, or you're antagonist, what are their personalities, why are they like that, what are their back stories. Usually by working out who your characters are will lead you to come up with some great story ideas.

    I also suggest don't use the computer straight up. It's very hard to be inspired by looking at a word document so just get a piece of paper and write down any all of your ideas. You should be able to generate some direction and a point you can start writing from.

    Hope some of this nonsense helps.
     
  12. Spacer
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    Spacer Active Member

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    Actually, I learned to make a chocolate cake by reading books, and was most taken with "The Cake Bible" by Rose Levy Beranbaum. It explains the ratio of components, so substitutions can be made by balancing out the equation. Cooking may be an art, but baking is a science.

    Isaac Asimov, R.A.H., Larry Niven, James P Hogan, Robert L Forward, Hal Clement.
     

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