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  1. Tiamat384
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    Tiamat384 Member

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    First Development in the Formation of a Story?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Tiamat384, Jan 29, 2016.

    What is the first item of a story, of the three that I will list, that you choose to develop first, or rather that lead into your story? The character(s), setting or general (very) plot? I ask because I am looking to develop a tale, but am unsure which of these three should be developed, at the very least to the slightest amount, first. I would like to take you for any future responses and wish everyone a good day.
     
  2. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    Pick whichever one interests you most. I get really attached to characters so for me it's usually developing them first, then figuring out where they live or what kind of story can happen with them, but if you have a cool plot idea, you go with that, and if you have an interesting setting, you go with that. It's all up to you, really. I'm not sure it matters that much what you start with, anyway, as long as everything does eventually get developed satisfactorily.
     
  3. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Hmm whenever I start writing I try and have some sympathy for the reader. They usually want to know who they are - pov & mc - where they are - setting - and what is going on - hint of plot or conflict right away. So I want to address these things first without delving too much into character development / plot or dressing ( setting. ) Usually I want to give a tidbit of what's to come and start with either an introductory bit of exposition ala Lolita with Humbert's - Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta type thing - Or I want to start directly with a scene.

    With my WIP I start the first page with exposition and in the first sentence I mention the mc - Noir Ackland - the setting - a prison transfer bus - and a hint of what's to come - it will be his last look at the sky.

    Once I've set the reader up on placement, pov, and setting I can start to work towards exposing the mc's character, delve more into setting and plot. I usually try with a bit of conflict that may or may not have something to do with the overall plot. At the beginning of my WIP the opening scenes focus on the mc's uniform being intimidating/a warning to the other prisoners despite the fact the mc isn't an intimidating person.
     
  4. Tiamat384
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    Tiamat384 Member

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    The main issue is I think of all of them, and can't seem to focus on any of the three specific. Though I know the characters, to a small extent only due to real life versions, though they need to be heavily altered in terms of character. Thank you though. Apologies for the short answer. Came back from a walk and it is hard to use my hands well for now.
     
  5. Tiamat384
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    Tiamat384 Member

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    So essentially get into each of them, but not too deep into them. Hmm, my main concern is prior to any actual writing though. However I thank you for the reply and time.
     
  6. nastyjman
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    nastyjman Contributing Member

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    For me, I need two things: inciting incident and potential ending.

    An inciting incident is an event that pushes your character out of their comfort zone or puts them out of balance. One example would be Katniss hearing her little sister being picked as a tribute. Another would be Arthur Dent being whisked away by Ford Prefect before the world is rendered into dust. Personally, I call it the Point of no Return.

    Potential ending could be the best possible ending I could think of with the story and characters I have in my head. When I think of story, I let it run its course in my mind like playing a reel of a movie. Eventually an idea for an ending will pop up, and I will use that as a target. I say "potential" because by the time I'm actually writing the story, a better ending could pop up.

    That's my process at least. I don't dwell too much on character because the character will be shaped and molded by the events they would encounter in their life. Backstories would be further developed as soon as I work on the 2nd draft and other succeeding drafts.
     
  7. Tiamat384
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    Tiamat384 Member

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    Something to pull the character out of their comfort zone. Hmm, I could certainly use that. Thanks for the idea! Entering a new setting could be such (without revealing initially the old). As to a potential ending, I could certainly see that as a great way of realizing where you are going, rather than going in every which way. I'd go beyond that and create a backbone. A general set up of the story, without any detail.
     
  8. nastyjman
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    nastyjman Contributing Member

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    I'm a pantser when I write my stories. I like improvisation and surprises. So with a beginning (inciting incident) and an ending (potential ending), I can play and romp around with my character in the middle, figuring out what they need to do, what they can't do, who the baddies are, etc. The backbone for me is the finished first draft. Second drafts for me is the retelling of the story to myself, but improving it for the general audience and the editor.
     
  9. Tiamat384
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    Tiamat384 Member

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    It's good to leave the overall plot open as you do, but even a backbone can be altered or removed (NOT one the in your body!). And even more such a backbone would literally be a set of desired consequences for example, but no action or reaction, nor setting or character.
     
  10. Samurai Jack
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    Samurai Jack Active Member

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    Characters first, plot second, setting third.

    I'll have an idea of who, what that who is made of, then either let them loose (they are a sadist now able to inflict pain) or put them through something (they are a hero having to face evil).

    The setting is whatever best allows me to do those things to those people.
     
  11. Tiamat384
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    Tiamat384 Member

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    Interesting logic. I have a general sense of who, still figuring out the details, but the soul of the plot (the feeling) leads to a world that I think most people would consider "steampunk" though I only have the vaguest of ideas of what that is exactly.
     
  12. MichaelP
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    MichaelP Active Member

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    I'm a pantser when I construct a plot....
     
  13. Tiamat384
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    Tiamat384 Member

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    Do you know what it means...I'm confused by the purpose of your comment..
     
  14. MichaelP
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    MichaelP Active Member

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    I was trying to be funny.
     

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