1. Pandemonia
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    Pandemonia Member

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    constructing the story

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Pandemonia, May 25, 2014.

    When writing longer works, is it better to go from beginning to end without deviation or to write in individual scenes and then fill in the connective tissue after? or is it just]personal preference?
     
  2. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    It depends on the writer. But, I end up changing the characters as the book goes. So, if I write a scene out of place, I end up rewriting it, because the character doesn't fit anymore.
     
  3. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    It all depends on the writer. Whatever method or combination of methods gets you to "The End" is the one that works best.
     
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  4. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Whatever works for you. Some start at the beginning and work straight through to the end, others work in scenes. I work in scenes, usually. I write whatever scene I'm interested in at the moment, then I assemble the scenes into a story. Some don't fit, but that's okay - I leave them out. Sometimes I have to write new scenes to bridge gaps, and that's okay, too.

    Do whatever works for you. There is no "Ultimate Guide for Writing a Literary Masterpiece."
    :)
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    whatever works best for you and results in a marketable ms is what's 'best'...
     
  6. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    I can't write it in bits and then assemble. I have to start at the beginning and work my way to the end. When I have gone back to add a scene that clearly needed to be in the book, it tended to be very frustrating to seamlessly knit it to the other scenes on either end. Much more work than if I had simply written it in, like I should have, head I been a perfect writer :) (who wrote in my style).
     
  7. Chaos Inc.
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    Chaos Inc. Active Member

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    Nothing like a good Frankenstein Monster story being brought to life. The right hand of this chapter with the poorly stitched index finger of a really good but misplaced arc that ends at a festering broken fingernail. Throw in the leg of your main character attached to the torso of your main story, but leave exposed the Achilles heal of a confusing and contrite back story of a missed opportunity and you're going to be left with quite a mess on your hands.

    This is really only from my own experience, your monster may vary, but unless that's your style go back and polish off those rough edges after you know the path you're going to have an angry group of villagers at your castle doors demanding the monster be destroyed!

    Or something...
     
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  8. Want2Write
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    Want2Write Member

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    Its a big confusion for me too. When I think of a story, I think of interesting scenes, briliant twists which the readers can really empathise. These things drive me to write the story, but when I start the story from the beginning build the introduction, start shaping the characters, paving a path for the plot, I lose the interest and momentum I initially had for that scenes/twists. Then I doubt myself whether those twists are really brilliant?? This happened to me for the 2 stories I started, yet to finish. Now I am thinking may be I should I have gave all the energy for that twist and scenes and give life to my thoughts. Then shape the story around it, it would be a shame to abandon the story which I really enjoyed writing the few pages, so I would drive myself to attach the beginning and ending, and also sharpen the originally written scenes/twists some more. This is just what I am thinking, I have to give it a try to see if that really works out.
     
  9. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    That's why I write an outline. I get all the twists and character development out.
     
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  10. Bumfoot
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    Bumfoot Member

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    I am a newbie and know nothing about creative writing publication other than I love to write and I have boxes of paper with words on them.

    I've written in many genres and have started my first novel. I wasn't sure how to start, so I grabbed a pad of PostIts and wrote down time periods I wanted to cover and stuck them on the back of my office door. Then I added events and MCs for each event. When I close my door to work, my outline is there on the back of the door. LOTS of PostIts!! And I like that I can move things around and not have to right it down or remember it.

    I'll be adding tape to hold up the PostIts. Their glue, mixed with the dust in here, will not last until I finish :)
     
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  11. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    What a great idea! It's better than spreading cards out on the floor ...because you can keep them stuck on the door until you don't need them any more.
     
  12. Bumfoot
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    Bumfoot Member

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    Thanks! So far it is working for me. I haven't worked on the beginning or the ending, but I am having fun developing the middle, the different scenes. I'll figure out how I want to tie things together after I figure out what I want the meat to be. We'll see!

    BTW, I'm learning so much from you guys! Thank you all for taking time to share your experiences. :)
     
  13. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Maybe you need to spend more time with your characters and let the story develop more organically. Your method sounds like connecting dots, and that gets dull. No surprises for you, and your characters are constructed to fit the plot. Some people work very well this way, but others don't. Maybe you're one of the ones who doesn't?

    I'd say get an opening scene (or a very early one) in your mind BUT NOTHING ELSE and write that. Who is in that scene? See how they develop, and what does that lead you to do next? It won't be long before an entire story pops into view, but by that time you'll have nailed your POV character, and be very invested in his/her fate.

    My own novel started with the idea of a young man on a palomino stallion riding down out of the mountains into the teeth of a rising blizzard—the first storm of that particular winter. He is not properly clad for such weather, he is exhausted, discouraged and alone, and just at dusk he comes to a house...

    The story grew from there, believe me. In both directions. His past AND his future. And who he was and what he wanted, etc. But that's how it started. I didn't even have other characters in mind yet. It was a very strong image, and it was one of the first chapters I actually wrote.

    Yes, okay, I ended up throwing away chapters and diversions that didn't ultimately add to the story that shaped itself, but never once did I lose interest in writing it. And finishing that first draft was one of the happiest days of my life.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2014
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