1. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    How do you figure out your Story?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Cacian, Dec 6, 2011.

    If you were to brainstorm your way of writing a story what would you put?





    This is how I go about:

    1) The reason why I want to write a story.

    2) A concept/a title/an idea
    for example
    An Alphabet Story

    3) Style of writing/tone/
    a happy/serious/humourous/...

    4) Gradual inttroductions of characters (from none to whatever...)

    5)Open ending..
     
  2. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Pick character, pick starting event, start typing.
     
  3. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    Do you ever end up with one too many characters?
     
  4. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, because I make a new character only when I need one. And because I know who's already appeared, if I can re-use them later on, I do.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i get an idea
    i start writing/typing
    i keep writing/typing till i get to the end

    if it's a complicated one, i may do up a time-line and/or simple outline at some point, to avoid getting tangled up in subplots
     
  6. Gracia Bee
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    Gracia Bee Member

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    I pick a setting and imagine what possible stories could happen in this place. I think up a few and pick one. Develop plot, characters, theme etc. either as I go along or before. Write!!!
     
  7. Tenelen
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    Tenelen Member

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    I was actually just thinking about posting a thread similar to this one. I was curious to see how others went about starting their writing.

    I have been writing a story for a little while now and I seem to have run into a road-block. I think the reason that I have done so is that I don't understand my character well enough. I am not sure what they would do, because I don't know how they think, so they story has stopped moving. I am planning on developing my character more and rewriting parts of the story with more of a connection to him. Hopefully then my story can go on.

    What I learned from this was, in my opinion, always develop your characters first. After you have done that you can move onto plot and all that other stuff.
     
  8. blandmanblind
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    blandmanblind Member

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    I want to write everyday, just let the pen flow and say anything that crosses my mind. Apparently, when you do that for long enough you can get into a zone and write something magically true and endearing, and blah-blah-blah. I don't do that.

    Actually, I don't write that much at all. When something comes to me I do write it down though (pocket moleskin journal with me at all times), and sometimes I get on a roll and write an entire scene. Usually though it's one or two liners, or descriptive paragraphs. I have pages of this stuff transferred and saved on flash drives.

    When a good idea comes to me for a story, and I really get in the mood to pound it out I usually take chunks of scenes from previous ramblings and jigsaw puzzle-style fit them together with tweaks. Then using applicable sentences from the lists, because I know at least those sentences are good and strong, I write around them to interlock the story. And, ta-da.

    I don't really recommend this method, even for myself. In the past two years I have only finished seven short stories.
     
  9. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    seven short stories??
    That quite a lot.
    I think there is no magic formula about how one writes.
    One thing I do know is that my characters are just like words they do not slow me down nor make me go faster.
    They just come and go the same with words and thoughts.
    I can't connect with writers who say they are finding their characters this or that.
    I don't get what they mean.
     
  10. Ettina
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    Ettina Active Member

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    I get an idea. My ideas generally fall into one of three categories:

    * setting ideas - eg a world where 'witches' are actually cat-shapeshifters with magical powers, and what people have mistaken for familiars are actually their family members or themselves in cat form.

    * character ideas - eg 14 characters with powers related to the seven deadly sins and heavenly virtues, each drains one trait from others and displays the same trait themselves

    * plot ideas - eg an angsty vampire detective meets a person who desperately wants to be a vampire, and that person steals said angsty vampire's blood and turns herself

    With plot ideas, I can often start writing right away, but many times I have holes in the story's set up that need to be sorted out, so I do that. If I can't do that, I shelve the idea for later.

    With setting or character ideas, usually I can't start writing them right away due to the lack of plot. A few times a plot naturally suggests itself, but more often I end up shelving those ideas, then eventually combining them with an originally unrelated plot idea. For example, the anime Karin made me think about the potential uses of emotion eaters for psychotherapy, which made me think of a plot idea involving the person who drains Pride runs into a narcissist in therapy, and the therapist ends up figuring out what this girl can do and putting her to work.

    I don't have a list of questions I ask myself - instead, I have the core of plot, setting and essential characters, and the rest evolves from there.

    For example, whether it'll be happy, serious, humorous, whatever depends on the characters and the feel I get as I write the story. If my plot idea requires terrible things to happen, or I have an unsavory character who is central to the story, obviously it'll be somewhat dark as a result. A story about two mad scientists kidnapping an innocent guy, turning him into a vampire and then experimenting with a kind of mind control that only works on vampires and permanently damaging his mind as a result is not going to be a light comedy. (I guess you could write it that way, but it would seem highly inappropriate.)

    My writing process, incidentally, involves a lot of 'shelving ideas for later'. I typically have several hundred half-finished stories I could be working on, and I focus on whichever ones have captured my interest at the moment. Usually I have between 2-5 stories I'm actively working on, a bunch that I'm stuck on but are still fresh in my mind, and then the rest are in the background waiting for their turn. I can shelve something at pretty much any point, too, from little idea kernel to finished story awaiting extensive edits.
     
  11. Wynnd
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    Wynnd New Member

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    I keep a dream journal. When I experience a dream that has an unusually atmospheric setting or an intriguing plot/character, I write a description of it down and turn it into a story. This way, I set no boundaries on my imagination... :)
     
  12. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    Interesting idea a dream journal.
    It cannot become a habit though in case one stops dreaming for a bit.
    I never knwo what I am going to write when and how.
    The less I know about it the better I write.
    I do not obsess over ideas of when or how I am going to write.
    I write on day whenever it takes me.
    This way I do not burden myself with writing.
    It is a last minute thing always.
    It is not planned or draft and it certainly never reliant on dreams for example for the reason I stated above.
     
  13. Monosmith
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    Monosmith Member

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    I know the story I want to tell. At least, I seek knowledge. Stephen King's advice was to treat it like a fossil. It's something that's already there and all you have to do is to find it. So long as you use the right tools you'll get there, one bit at a time.

    Now I understand that his method relied on discovering the story in chronological order and he was against plotting. For me, I see the story four-dimensionally, separate from time, and I see bits and pieces of it at different points in time and how they either influence things later or how they must have been the result of something else. After a while, I discover the story more and more.

    Plus, it's really nothing to be ashamed of to take inspiration from other works of literature, though I would discourage taking inspiration from only one source. The cultured writer probably sees the story he wants to tell first and then learns more about it the more he reads, as he becomes accustomed to narrative elements that apply to his story.
     
  14. Wynnd
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    Wynnd New Member

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    Haha, I sometimes write on a whim, too. I do not rely completely on my dream journal, it is simply a hobby that I picked up and found out how to tie it in with writing. It has proven to be very useful. :)
    One problem I seem to have though is that I'm a big planner. I like to contemplate my stories for a few days before I write them. They seem to come out better that way.

    Monosmith - I am exactly like you when it comes to that. I see my stories as bits and pieces as if each setting or character (or even section of dialogue) is a puzzle piece, and it takes some contemplating to finally complete that puzzle. Sometimes I wish my mind didn't work that way, but other times I'm thankful for it, for it's easier to remember details.
     
  15. SimpleDD
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    SimpleDD New Member

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    Well I get most of my ideas by watch things that put me in harmony. Space, the sky, lights, water etc.
    After getting in harmony I close my eyes and drift away. (know it sound kinda silly)
    Then I usually come up with a starting position to go from, a character, plot or a world.
    Then I sit down, sketch down some ideas surrounding the starting position.
    Then I add more and more until the story is finished.
     

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