1. Wordz
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    Wordz New Member

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    How to start...?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Wordz, Apr 18, 2011.

    For years I've described myself as an aspiring writer. Years and years, in fact. Crazy how they fly by. I've always had many ideas brewing, a few basic storylines (if you'd even call them that) that I've added to over the years, others just killer ideas that haven't been fleshed out in the slightest. Some great stuff though...

    Anyway...it seems I can never get started. It's like I don't know how, don't know when? I don't quite know just where to begin! While I know that I can start virtually anywhere and, of course, can insert a new beginning down the road while shuffling other scenes around, it seems the beginning always haunts me as though I need it to be perfect. I was the same way with essays in highschool and university, couldn't start with the meat of the essay until I had a striking first few lines in the intro. This is what blocks me, I think. It's the same sort of thing...I just dont know how to start...
     
  2. Schwinn57
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    Schwinn57 Member

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    I have a lot of problem with this.

    For me, the only way to start is to just start writing the first word that comes to mind and run with it. Don't worry about writing anything good - you can always come back and remove the chaff.

    I usually find that if I do this, the first parts will be awful and then you find that your 3 or 4th paragraphs finally get into the mood and then after that you, you usually churn out some pretty good stuff.

    Another thing to do is to hit random keys on the keyboard until your brain gets tired of that and will force you to hit keys in an order to be legible.
     
  3. bekajoi
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    bekajoi Senior Member

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    I like to start with character sketches for the players in the story in my head. Who are they? What do they look like? Do they remind me of anyone in real life? Likes? Dislikes? Deep personal secrets? Anything I can think of for individual people goes in. I keep this along with my other notes for the project together, for easy reference as I come back to it.

    As for starting the actual writing, I just jump in wherever it seems to work and start working. Usually, the first few sentences are pure crap, or I decide that's not really the beginning after all, later.... but you have to start SOMEWHERE.

    Other people I know prefer to get loads of research done ahead of time, map out the whole world being created (literally or figuratively, or both), and get all the details straight.

    And still others will start with a plot outline. General story? What happens next? Points to follow as you go, and you fill in the blanks as you write.

    I do a little of all of them, but I generally first start off with sketches. Outline comes together a little at a time, as I know what happens next, while I work... and I do research as needed.

    In any case, something on the list above is sure to help, on some level! :)
     
  4. Infinitytruth
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    Infinitytruth Senior Member

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    This may sound harsh...not meant to though.

    Quit babbling on a forum and commence writing immediately. If perfection is the problem. Just have fun. No need to write the greatest novel of the century. All that's necessary is you wrote what you wanted, and you feel good about it.
     
  5. The Lorry Driver
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    The Lorry Driver New Member

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    I start with a bit of retrospect, it puts everything neatly in place and then just let the characters walk you through!
     
  6. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know what you mean about the endless possibilities that the beginning offers and it almost gives you a writers block before even getting started. Maybe start with a rough outline for the story and by developing the characters and their relations to each others, the plot... That will probably give you a lot of new ideas as well for subplots etc. do you already have a specific story in mind?
     
  7. Cthulhu
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    Cthulhu Member

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    If you mean 'Whair should I start my story? ' I would say 'Start at the beginning' Or if that doesn't work for you I'd say 'Start how you intend to continue' [So begin an action novel with action], One of these two should fit any story.

    If you mean 'How do I start the writing process? ' I'd say that an outline no matter how sketchy, a setting, and a few characters are critical [So you know at least partially What happens, Whair it happens, and Who does it]
     
  8. goldhawk
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    goldhawk Senior Member

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    The best way to start any big project is to do the things you know you can do. Write the parts that are clearest to you at the moment. Don't think that you have to write the story from beginning to end in sequence. Don't be afraid to jump around or skip over something you're not familiar with. When you see your story taking shape, you are likely to see how to fill in the missing parts. If you don't, there's always this forum to help you out. :)
     
  9. martial_wolf
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    martial_wolf Member

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    I have that trouble too. Really just start with a couple interesting first lines and go from there. It could be something vague, or something far too descriptive. It really doesn't matter. Pick one and go with it. You know your general direction, so make it go in that direction.
     
  10. R-e-n-n-a-t
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    R-e-n-n-a-t Contributing Member

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    If none of that sounds like it could work, you can always just sidestep the problem. A 'beginning' is usually necessary to set up character interactions and things for later, but it is not really required if you choose a setting that doesn't require an in-depth beginning.

    For example, in my horror/adventure/scifi book that I'm attempting to write, the MC wakes up in a bad situation, with memory loss, and it's woven into the plot developements of the book.

    Alternatively, if you want your book to have a slow-paced introductory beginning, you could write about something that's so interesting that the beginning is not even remotely similar to any other book you have read. For example, imagine the beginning of a book about teenagers. It's probably boring, and you know what to expect. You can sidestep this by picking such an unusual topic that the beginning is a lot of fun to write, and really helps the reader understand what's going on, instead of just,
    "After school I had to go to my job. How surprising..."
     
  11. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    I agree,
    the first step is to put pen to paper, open word(or other programs), and just start.
    Start where ever inspiration moves you, then let it flow. Where you start might not be the start of the book. You might even delete the whole first section(too boring, but helped to set the good part later on).

    Procrastinating is bad, planning is good until it turns to the other "P".

    Write,
    Write a story,
    write it all,
    don't worry if its not good enough for anyone else to read, just write.

    in other words;
    change sing to write, song to book:
    "Sing, sing a song,
    Make it simple, to last your whole life long,
    Don't worry that it's not good enough,
    For anyone else to hear,
    Sing, sing a song . ."

    Come on in, the water is fine.
     
  12. MoonlitJess
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    MoonlitJess New Member

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    I usually start with a free-write. You just sit at your computer with the monitor turned off (or something else blocking the monitor from view) and write what ever pops into your head. Literally, EVERYTHING that occurs to you. Don't edit it. Don't think about it or judge it at all. Just write it down. You'll end up with a lot of "I'm hungry," and "this is dumb" at first. I find doing this at the beginning of a writing session helps to break me away from the need to be perfect from the start.

    With practice, you can tranisition into getting some writing done. It can be a way of brainstorming ideas or writing actual scenes. You just keep going until your mind is completely blank or you run out of time. Then you go back and delete all the random stuff... and voila! A great idea! Or a rough scene. An outline. A character's background. It's like walking along the beach and picking up treasures. You can ignore all the piles of rotting seaweed, and keep all the smooth glass and pearly shells.
     
  13. Pea
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    Pea super pea!

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    For me it helps to plan. First I either have an idea of the characters or the setting, and I expand on that. Once I thought about it enough to have the plot details in my mind (having several hours to daydream helps :) ) I write a synopsis, maybe 1-2 pages. But it depends on what I'm writing. A short story you can pretty much just sit down and write, but for something like a novel I find it really important to plan so you don't end up on page 34, miss out a plot detail and have to overhaul the whole thing. Nightmare.

    What works for me though is to write an overview of the story, and then split that overview into parts. I expand on each part (so say it began as one paragraph, I'd keep adding plot details to it until it was a page or so long) until it was done. Then I'd split those parts into smaller sections, chapters. Each one would go through the process again and the story would become longer. My aim is to do this (iterative process? sounds so formal hehe) until it's completely finished. This way I won't miss anything out and I'll always know where I am in the story.

    Sorry for rambling, but I hope this helps.
     
  14. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    When I started writing my first book (which is so far my only book lol), I had a general idea of everything I wanted to do, and then I just started writing somewhere and hoped to get somewhere else.

    The key to creative writing comes in two parts. Keep writing, and, once you get to the end, start over again.

    The first is to keep your words flowing. Don't get caught up with the need to write the perfect sentence. Write complete babble, cheesy clich├ęs, or whatever comes out. Skip entire scenes if you are really stuck, leaving a note to come back later. Just get to the end of your story.

    The second part is the re-write. You now know your story way better than before. You are a better writer than before, and you can actually write better sentences, your characters come out more believable, and your plot is more defined.
     
  15. author97
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    author97 Member

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    Try to sit down and just type out the plot-or whatever you have of it so far. Characters, major details and read it over. A beginning may appear.
     

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