1. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do you ever write a story for a single scene?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by CDRW, May 5, 2008.

    That is how I get inspiration for a story. Usually it happens when I'm listening to music or just daydreaming and a picture or event will pop into my head that I want to get down. So far it has given me two really good novel ideas, but it puts me in a really hard place. I don't know how to move the story between those key scenes. One of the novels I almost have worked out, I just need to figure out how to end it after the last one of those "visions." Does anybody else write this way? Do you have any suggestions for filling in the blanks?
     
  2. MumblingSage
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    MumblingSage Contributing Member

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    That happens pretty often to me--the scene usually winds up being somewhere towards the beginning, but not always.

    Worse is when I wind up writing a story just so I can get one particular scene down--my heart isn't really in it, though, and the scene never winds up as good as it should be.
     
  3. Plushii
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    For me, the ending of a story always comes first, so I have to work backwards. In my head I'll come up with an ending, and then work backwards from that. I ask myself "But how did that happen?" or "Why did that happen?" or even "What caused the character to act that way?"

    Basically I just ask myself a lot of questions to try and fill in the blanks. In a way it's like doing a mad lib!
     
  4. An Irate Gentleman
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    An Irate Gentleman New Member

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    I do that, but it bugs me because then I have to fit the circumstances to the character, rather than the character to the circumstances. "Alright, if I add dragons and a complex government conspiracy, this chapter will make sense."
     
  5. Titania
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    Titania Contributing Member

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    Yes. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. For me, I think it's worked a lot better with short stories than it has with anything lengthy... one of my novel ideas is based on a single image (which would take place at the very end of the book), but I've never finished it, probably because I've never managed to fully flesh out the rest of the story. I've had better luck with short pieces that are based on images.

    I do think it's a very legitimate way to begin though :) And really - it's kind of fun, isn't it? You have an image in your head of a specific event, and then you get to build off that - who are these characters? Why are they there? How have they gotten to this point? etc. (pretty much what Plushii said).

    I think my only advice would be to not let that vision you had starting out get in the way if the story changes. Don't force your characters into that particular scene if, as the story develops, they no longer fit into it.
     
  6. Rumpole40k
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    Rumpole40k Banned

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    I've been there - not all the time but sometimes. This is what I do. I write the scene that gave birth to the whole thing and then build around it. Well what happened five minutes before? Ten minutes after? Etc. For me it's kind of like a ripple effect.
     
  7. Smithy
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    Smithy Senior Member

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    My first serious attempt at writing started just like that- I knew where my main character was going to start, I knew how he was going to finish, and I knew that his love interest was going to have an overwrought death scene somewhere along the way, and then I had to come up with a plot that wove them into something coherent. It didn't work.
     
  8. Rumpole40k
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    Rumpole40k Banned

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    Sometimes I run into problems finishing a story simply because I haven't given my subconscious a chance to really work the idea over.
     
  9. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, I have another idea, but I think I'll have to drop it for a while, because I can't think of any way to do it without ending up with something like what smithy said.
     
  10. wildflower
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    Can completely relate to this - I keep thinking up key scenes in my YA and struggle to 'connect the dots' as it were.

    I think Rumpole just found me a solution there with the ripple effect
     
  11. Amor
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    Amor Member

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    That happens to me sometimes also. But I rarely really try to work it into a novel, because I don't know how to get to that scene, and how to continue on from there. It turns out worse than I had expected. If you want to attempt it, though, then you should go for it and see what happens.
     
  12. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    I write like this all the time.
    Usually (and this isn't very helpful advice) I let the novel sit.
    Until I get another idea from the music I'm listening to.
    Music and dreams help me a lot. More then just trying to think of ideas.
    I think its one of the hardest writings to do because the only time heart and soul come into a piece is when you are dreaming or listening to music.
     
  13. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    I often start longer stories with shorter ones, primarily based on an idea for a scene. Thne the rest of the piece is often built off the scene.
     
  14. ILTBY
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    That's generally how all my stories start. I'll just come up with a scene in my head that I really want to write about and then form my story around it. It's rare that I'll sit down and write without any goal or aim in mind.
     
  15. FinalConflict
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    Yeah I do that a LOT.
    That's how I get most of my work, I don't think I've ever once started from the beginning I always have something planned later on in the series.
     

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