1. Xerclipse
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    Xerclipse Member

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    How do you begin your story

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Xerclipse, Apr 18, 2016.

    Let's assume you know your characters and where you know the story should go.

    Right now you are at chapter 1, or episode 1. How do you begin from there? Do you prefer to begin it like if it could be part 2 or 3. Or do you prefer to begin it where we get a premise (In other words it feels like it belongs in chapter 1).
     
  2. Feo Takahari
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    Feo Takahari Active Member

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    I usually start with a scene where an MC is doing something that demonstrates their most important personality trait.
     
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  3. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I dont understand this question. Especially what you said about part 2 or 3.
     
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  4. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    I either start with a character establishment, or a plot teaser that sets up something important. Either way, it's something that literally introduces you into the sequence I'm building.
     
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  5. Yoav
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    Yoav Member

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    I usually want to go with a controversial scene that will raise a lot of questions. In the novel I am writing right now, the first scene starts with one of the main characters trying to hang himself.
     
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  6. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Excited already!! :superagree::superagree:
     
  7. Yoav
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    Yoav Member

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    I'm planning on posting the prologue when I'm finishing it. :)
     
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  8. zoupskim
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    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

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    My current WIP starts with a soldier sending another to die. Everyone says he was justified in his decision, but deep down he knows it was a bad choice. Some sacrifices we justify ourselves, others are justified for us.

    This scene introduces one of the themes that the entire story explores.
     
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  9. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Mmm, I detect the delectable smell of complex morality!
     
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  10. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    Start with something that draws the reader in. Give them something to sink their teeth into. Excite them. Don't just start dumping background information on them.
     
  11. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Well, background information can be exciting. But yes. First impressions are very important in writing. Their first impression of your book when they read the back-cover or hear about it. Their first impression when they start reading it. Their first impression of any major character. All of these are essential. So they have to be quite interesting.
     
  12. Witchymama
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    Witchymama Active Member

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    I generally dive right in, inside their mind and activities. It can be something simple and build into a character arc or starting in the middle of the arc.
     
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  13. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Depends with my Renegade duology, I slowly build on the first one. The second picks up right where the first left off.

    And for everything else, it just kinda goes the way it wants to go. Could be mellow, or it could be a splash of insanity to slap one right in the face. :p
     
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  14. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    I usually start with chapter one, only a crazy person would start on something as crazy as chapter 4...

    Lookin at you StarWars.
     
  15. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    :superlaugh::superlaugh:
     
  16. Miller0700
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    Miller0700 Contributing Member

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    I make what I call "Plot Points," sort of like a storyboard, but with writing. Using bullet points I type the important plot events in the story I plan to write and write my story from there. This also works great with setting up characters and places.

    Example:

    PLOT POINTS FOR XYZ
    • A happens
    • B happens
    • C happens
    • D happens
    • E happens
    • F Happens
     
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  17. United
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    I think beginning a story in medias res is quite a popular trend these days. If you can do it right, then it will be a stronger start to a story than the standard and expository introduction.
     
  18. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    I think if you do a good "standard and expository introduction" then it will be just as exciting.
     
  19. FaythFuI
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    FaythFuI Member

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    When I begin a story, I usually jump right into the action. Since I like to write in first person the most, I may start with a stream of thoughts coming from the character, or having them have dialogue right off the bat to really set up their personality. But, when I start a story too, I find that as I slip into first person, I let the character start doing the writing for me - they almost become themselves and make their own story right in the beginning, and I allow them to flourish depending on how free I'm letting my imagination go.
     
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  20. IHaveNoName
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    IHaveNoName Active Member

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    In my current WIP, I kind of started "at the beginning". I introduce one of the MCs, and things go along pretty slowly for awhile - it's mostly introduction to the world, get to know the characters, yadda yadda, for a few chapters, before things pick up. I'm kinda worried that it might not be a good thing, but I'll go with it for now and see how it works.

    I've also done in media res. In another story I started some years back, the MC wakes up at the base of a tree after he's been blown out the window of the house of the woman he was trying to assassinate.

    So, really, the opening depends on the story you want to write.
     
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  21. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Yes!!! This summarizes this point exactly.
     
  22. Xerclipse
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    Xerclipse Member

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    Let's assume that chapter 4 was the one and only chapter 1. Come on we don't want to really talk about the prequels now do we.
     
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  23. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    Just because you're ashamed of your past doesn't mean you should bury it, if Justin Timberlake can recover so can we.
     
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