1. Black Art
    Offline

    Black Art New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2013
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    London

    How do I start?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Black Art, Jul 18, 2013.

    How do people start getting their ideas down or start their plan? I have a lot of ideas, plots, etc, but I just don't know how to start the whole process. Any advice will be helpful. :confused:
     
  2. CyberFD
    Offline

    CyberFD Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Mystical Land of Ohio
    Just write. That's literally the best thing.

    I started with a faint outline of what I wanted to happen, in my head. Since then, I've gotten new characters, new scenes, new settings, new conflicts, and it's all built on top of each other. The 20k words between one scene I wanted and the next scene I wanted all happened in the spur of the moment.

    As the Joker says, "Do I look like a guy with a plan?"
     
  3. chicagoliz
    Offline

    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Messages:
    3,295
    Likes Received:
    815
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Different people do different things, but, like CyberFD said, just write. Sit down and write a scene. Write about some of those characters in your head. See what you end up with. It doesn't matter if you're writing something at the very beginning or the middle, or the end. Just write and reassess later what you may need to add.
     
  4. erebh
    Offline

    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    2,620
    Likes Received:
    467
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    CyberFD has a point - just rite and see where it takes you. Write and write and write and then edit like a lune. It won't be long before you're dreaming what happens next - honestly :)
     
  5. jazzabel
    Offline

    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    4,273
    Likes Received:
    1,666
    First, spend a day or a week or as long as you need, just describing the story, like a synopsis. It's the skeleton. Then, you need to flesh it out by thinking about the characters and relationships and major events that you want to include. I also go as far as sketching the scenes or chapters, it can be just a sentence or a paragraph, but it helps you link things up, monitor for plot holes, it helps keep you on track. By the time you have that sorted, it shouldn't be difficult to just start writing your novel.
     
  6. chicagoliz
    Offline

    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Messages:
    3,295
    Likes Received:
    815
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Jazz has a wonderful approach and for some people it is exactly what they need. But, if it doesn't work for you, or you feel you've more or less kind of done this, don't be afraid to just jump in and write. There are lots of folks who are proud 'pantsers.' You might find that you are one. Or you might not. But you won't know until you try.
     
  7. erebh
    Offline

    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    2,620
    Likes Received:
    467
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I had to look up what a pantser is, obvious when you think about it but not a phrase I've ever heard, we'd use the word chancer to describe this.

    Anyway, in looking it up I saw this which you may find useful - I, by the way, am 100% pantser!

    http://fantasy-faction.com/2012/writers-den-plotters-vs-pantsers
     
  8. chicagoliz
    Offline

    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Messages:
    3,295
    Likes Received:
    815
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I don't love the term, either, but it seems to be generally accepted. I, too, am a pantser. I've never been able to write anything any other way. Even in school, when teachers would insist on an outline, I'd make one up after I was done writing.
     
  9. Black Art
    Offline

    Black Art New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2013
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    London
    I took the advice and started writing and surprisingly it works well, it all seems to just flow as you go along. I will also try out what Jazz said, I think it will be a lot of help as the story progresses and will act as a guide.

    Thanks everyone :D
     
  10. TimHarris
    Offline

    TimHarris Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    I think everyone uses a different approach, even if the differences are only miniscule. Myself, I have most of the story in my head. I know where I want to go, and know what I want to tell. The details are the parts I am missing. This approach does give me the freedom of writing any chapter at I want at any point. If I want to work on a major battle scene towards the end of the book, I will do it. If I want to write a character building scene composed mostly of dialogue? I will
     
  11. TLK
    Offline

    TLK Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    35
    I'd agree with jazzabel and try and write a rough synopsis of what you want to write. I sat myself down and tried to do it, and I found that it all spurted out on the spot! It of course changed but because I've had something to work on and evolve, it's been a lot easier.
     
  12. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,727
    Likes Received:
    4,824
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    Probably the most important thing, especially for a beginner, is to not be afraid of doing it wrong. People start out thinking there is a specific way of writing, and they MUST write that way, and that they're screwing up their stories if they don't. This is all a crock of feces.

    Feel free to do it wrong. You will probably find that someone else's wrong is your right, anyway. Try doing it whatever way seems okay to you, and if it's not working, you'll have a pretty good idea why, and you'll restart your story in that new light. You will find your own way, and when you have, you'll know it's right for you.
     
  13. Gholin
    Offline

    Gholin Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2010
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Utah, United States
    This is so true. Just do it! Figure out a story you want to write, and try to write it. Don't worry about it being bad at first. Most of us suck when we start something new. It takes multiple attempts and revisions to get anything written. If it's worth writing to you, write it! And to add onto that, when you write something and someone criticizes it, don't be upset with them and don't quit. If what they say is constructive, use their advice to help you do better. If they are just being mean, forget them! They don't know anything.

    Either way, just keep going, even if the next five stories you write stink. You will get better each time.
     
  14. ChaosReigns
    Offline

    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,090
    Likes Received:
    455
    Location:
    Canterbury, Kent, United Kingdom
    if you struggle to start, make notes, or odd sentences, of whats going to happen, then expand it and keep going like that, i could use the analogy of pizza dough here where it starts out as a smaller bulk and gets expanded out enough for the topping (or detail) to be added
     
  15. hughesj
    Offline

    hughesj Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2013
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    3
    search the 'Snowflake Writing Method' on google. This will probably help
     
  16. Kita
    Offline

    Kita Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    Usually I find it easiest to have a beginning and ending in mind when I begin writing. Sometimes I'll have a few characters or scenes in mind too. Apart from that I just write as I go, making note of any ideas that could be used later as well as character and place names so nothing is forgotten. Hope this helps!
     

Share This Page