1. chronicler
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    chronicler Member

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    Getting Started - What's Next?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by chronicler, Jul 23, 2011.

    My biggest obstacle with writing is getting past the initial story idea. I seem to be drawn towards a "system" or chain of events to any task, and maybe that's my problem.

    My question is this: I have a vague idea for a story. e.g. bad guy strolls into town and kidnaps mayors daughter for ransom. Unlikely cowboy rescues her and the bad guy goes to jail.

    What comes next? Characters, Plot Events, Tragedies or Climax?

    Is there a "way" to write a story, or just the feeling?

    Thanks
     
  2. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    Either way it goes. Every Writer is different, so whichever floats your boat. Whatever it is, my hat is off to you.
     
  3. whitefairy24601
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    whitefairy24601 Member

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    Whatever come to you. What do you think should happen? You're the writer after all. It's your story, so write it however you want. Good luck, and hope it works out!
     
  4. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    There's no formula, no answer, no nothing. Picture yourself traveling to a different country. You learn their language, their way of life, by just living and learning as you go. Do the same here. Start writing, see how it goes, improvise! If it doesn't work out, then you may be a type of writer who needs planning before writing.
     
  5. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree, stop procrastinating and start writing. :) that is the only way to learn.
     
  6. Taylee91
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    Taylee91 Carpe Diem Contributor

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    ^All three could come next actually. It's all up to you in which order they present themselves.

    Say we could find out more about the major and why the bad guys kidnapped his daughter. Or say we could find out more about this unlikely cowboy. What put him in the right place at the right time to rescue the girl? How is he even remotely near her?

    You could also twist things up. Say, yes, the cowboy does rescue the girl but then discovers the bad guys have a bunch of other people hostage. Then ask yourself, Why? Think of more problems to come the cowboy's way.
     
  7. shygirl93
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    shygirl93 New Member

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    I've had the same problems many times. I decided to outline my work before I even start to think about actually writing it. This is the first time I've tried it, and it seems to be working so far. I feel a lot more confident with what I write now that I know where I'm going with it so I can't write myself into a corner. Get yourself a notebook specifically dedicated to story ideas, each story getting a few pages so you can work it out however you need. Or, use your computer if that is your way. I tend to favor notebooks since they are more portable.

    However, this method doesn't work for everyone. Some are just better with the go-with-the-flow method and write as it comes to them. Try both ways and see which is better for you. The only way to know is to try.
     
  8. elneilio10
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    elneilio10 Member

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    Unless you can write like Forest Gump could run, you could do a lot worse that start with a small plan before beefing it out into a bigger plan and an even bigger plan.

    The worst case scenarios being you'll:
    a) give up - wouldn't you have given up no matter how you'd set about the task?
    b) you'll eventually start deviating from your plan (though you could still achieve a finished product). Maybe the finished item will be radically different from what you first intended to write but, so what? - if you still like what you've written!


    With the best case scenario being you'll follow it to its logical conclusion (by sticking rigidly to the plan).

    Somewhere along the line of course, and whether you stick rigidly to plans or not, you can start making notes on your characters. Try writing a page or two on the "life stories" of your MCs? Maybe write something on particular aspects of the story such as the setting (both physical and socio-political)

    If you fully intend to stick to your plans, you can actually still edit them as you go along. There's no harm in that.

    Try to remain flexible. But keep writing (he says with 40 years of writer's block under his belt! ;) ).

    Also, whilst writing the story proper, don't be afraid to resume writing by jumping to a particular part that's not strictly in the correct order. With computers, you can simply copy and paste chunks into their correct "slots" whenever they're ready to be moved around.

    You might feel you can write fluently on one particular scene of your work, over another, one day from the next.

    Be versatile in your endeavours.

    Good luck.

    :)
     
  9. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I'd make a simple timeline-like diagram and map out your plot so you won't get stuck too bad, then write. I hear of so many people who spend months getting their plot just perfect with all the little details ironed out, but they never write it lol.
     
  10. chronicler
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    chronicler Member

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    Thanks for all the feedback!

    I will try the one/two page outline of the characters life for the next project I will be starting.

    I love seeing how I evolve the characters without thinking about it, but I can't stand discrepancies when I'm reading so I get a little anxious about it.

    Thanks again for all your help!
     

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