1. Sctt859
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    Sctt859 New Member

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    How long do you plot and brainstorm before you actually write?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Sctt859, Dec 17, 2009.

    Like I said in my other topic on the same page, I want to start a whole novel but I want it to be pretty epic, I do not want it to be something I rush through. How long do you brainstorm and plan before you actually begin to start? How long is to long?
     
  2. Coldwriter
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    Coldwriter Contributing Member

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    Some say in an idealistic bubble they cant wait to
    IMO, you can't rush before sitting down to right. There is no formula of getting something so set that will enable you to write.
    You need to write. Write about your ideas, about possibilities. Try a practice scene. I'm writing a novel, or attempting to, and I just whatever I can about ideas that may work with the story.

    Start writing. While you do, be in collecting mode--read, watch and observe others, read, write. Find out what ideas work and what ones don't.

    Edit: In fact, there have been times where I have done nothing but brainstorm, only writing down ideas and not scenes and chapters that it actually hindered any writing progress. Don't become chained by preparation.
     
  3. Sctt859
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    Sctt859 New Member

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    Thank you
     
  4. TragicJuliet
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    TragicJuliet Senior Member

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    TWErvin2 has a website that lists a few of his articles, I would suggest reading "Are you really writing" and "On Waiting" they are pretty good articles and address what you're wondering about if you are worried about taking too much time or not enough time.

    http://www.ervin-author.com/articles.htm
     
  5. hszmv
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    hszmv Member

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    I've been working on mine going on for three years now, and I haven't begun to write... Mostly just rewriting several elements in my head. Right now, I'm pressed for an overal story, despite having an awesome cast.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I don't ponder for more than a few days. By then I have a good idea what the story will encompass, and will have finished my preliminary research.

    I don't need to have every single detail nailed down before I start writing. Overplanning is a form of procrastination. Roll up your sleeves and dive into the thick of it.
     
  7. Sillraaia
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    Sillraaia Senior Member

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    I brainstorm for as long as it takes to build a plot. A basic idea of the story. By that point, once I have a beginning, a middle, and an ending of some sort, I am excited enough about the story that waiting ANY longer to write it would just kill me. So I get started, and see what happens along the way. I have learnt that the ending isn't always what you had planned out in the beginning - sometimes it just wouldn't make sense to stick to that plan rigidly - but as long as you can still form a good ending, it is safe to wander while you write.

    Your original plot won't be set in stone, so don't spend too long on it, or you may grow too attached to it, and sometimes it needs to change for the story to work well.

    Have fun with it!
     
  8. TragicJuliet
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    TragicJuliet Senior Member

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    This is SO true, the novel I am working on, after about chapter 5 or 6, I decided it sounded better in 3rd person instead of 1st, and now I have to change it all. And I'm constantly coming up with ideas as I write for how it will go, i would never wait until i had all the ideas to write; i would never be writing then!
     
  9. Evelyanin
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    Evelyanin Senior Member

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    I dream a lot. This includes both day dreaming and sleep dreaming. So I always have a wealth of material to choose from. Most of my stories are ones that I already have thought out. It's like watching a movie in your head. Very exciting. I usually have no problem with the plot and the story. It's when I have to get started on writing it down that I have difficulties. I often need to rework pieces to get it to work on paper.
    I can't write a story if plot is too vague. I need to know exactly what is going to happen. If I don't, my story will end up just a few chapters long. I guess it would be possible to build it up with a little bit of work, but it is so frustrating when the story you fell in love with is actually really boring.
     
  10. bruce
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    bruce Active Member

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    I took three months, from August 2009 to October 2009, to brainstorm and plan my novel. It is a written plan. I have a one-page story concept with a list of characters, a two-page bio for each of the main characters, seven pages of scenes summary, and fifty six pages of scene outline.

    In November 2009, I reviewed and refined this plan until I'm satisfied with the story design.

    Then I started writing in early December 2009.
    I don't get writers block if I work this way. :D
     
  11. Phantasmal Reality
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    Phantasmal Reality Contributing Member

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    Plan as long as you need. Every author is different in this regard. Some, like Stephen King, jump right in with almost no forward planning, whereas others, like Orson Scott Card, can plan a novel for two years and then sit down and write it in two weeks. Figure out what kind of author you are and what level of planning works for you. :)
     
  12. MelissaL
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    MelissaL Member

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    I think brainstorming is the fun part when it comes to writing a story. You don't necessarly need to write it down, but it might help to jot things down that come to you if you worry you might forget about it. If I happen to have a notebook and a pen with me I'll just keep writing down my ideas and soon I have a story in my head! Though sometimes they say writing it down is not always the best thing do right away, sometimes you need to just lay back, relax and let the ideas roam free. Creativity tends to work better when your not stressing it so much. If the story is that important to you then you will write it! This is how stories come to life, I just love it when ideas come to me!
     
  13. Operaghost
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    Operaghost Contributing Member

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    Depends on the story, I’ve written a script with no real planning before, (I had a rough idea and outline and went with it) and likewise developed one for two years before even writing the thing, (I include research as part of the planning)
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    When I'm working on building a story, it is in my thoughts between writing sessions too. Even if I only have a raw skeleton from the beginning, it grows flesh faster than I can write. If it were a zombie, it would be unkillable.

    All the more reason to begin writing as soon as I have a decent sense of direction. A more diletory approach risks losing momentum.
     
  15. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    When I get a story idea, the first thing I do is sketch out a simple outline, knowing that as more details invade the outline, the story may turn in some other direction. After identifying areas needing research, I may discover some fact that forces a change in the story's direction or even that the story is simply not feasible as I originally envisioned it.

    As far as actually writing it, I tell myself that I won't begin writing until all the research is complete, but I get excited and lose self-discipline, so I tend to start writing while I complete my research. The bigger problem for me is knowing when to stop writing a story.

    Many years ago, I started a Cold War thriller titled "Queen Exchange". It followed a young CIA analyst as he stumbled into a sinister communist plot to force a nuclear exchange between the superpowers and their allies. Yes, such a holocaust would destroy most of the developed nations and their populations. That was the communist goal under the premise that communism is not the same as nationalism and worldwide communism can only become a reality if the major governments of the world collapse.

    In the story, Russian communists (hardliners in the military) establish secret organizations inside third world countries along the equator and plan to initiate the nuclear war, knowing that none of the nuclear exchanges would be targeting third world areas. A leading Russian physicist/communist plays an important role as he theorizes that the resulting "nuclear winter" would be survivable along the equator. He also claims that prevailing winds in each hemisphere would contain most of the radioactive fallout within those regions...again, leaving undeveloped nations along the equator as the sole surviving countries. Note that communists are not nationalists so they are quite willing to sacrifice mother Russia to destroy the USA, hence the chess player title of Queen Exchange. After the queens are removed, the game will be won by pawn development = the third world countries that will be taken over by communists.

    I wrote the whole damn story...complete with research on the CIA, nuclear war complications like "nuclear winter" and radioactive fallout patterns. I identified all the weak third-world nations along the equator with governments that could be overthrown by internal communist sleeper cells. I even studied various communist manifestos in order to establish the distinction between nationalist Russians and true communists.

    The book was ready to go. Then, it happened. The Berlin Wall fell. The Soviet Union crumbled. And my story became infeasible in the rapidly thawing Cold War. Of course, I stopped editing and it languishes to this day in my file cabinet, waiting for an improbable resurrection. Damn unfinished story is nearly thirty years old and I still can't just kill it! LOL
     

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