1. aimlessramblings
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    aimlessramblings Member

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    Just Started, Already in A Rut!

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by aimlessramblings, Sep 25, 2010.

    So i have finally started putting my story on Paper (well actually digital data, but u get the idea), and ive now rewrote my beginning paragraph, oh i say about 4 times....

    im struggling with something...


    i want to start with my villain being questioned by the authorities asking him about his victims, but here is where im stumbling.. should i go Victim # 1 - Story from Killer, Victim #2 - Story From killer.... and etc (up to 5 or more victims). Now i have also started out the same beginning with a small back story about him up until the point of capture to where they then start questioning ( it will add quite a bit to the body of the story if go with the story of him ).

    if i start off with the questioning it reads off wrong to me...
    if i start off with the story of his past, i feel like im getting to know him to quick..

    see my frustration?
    any suggestions?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It's your story. Perhaps if you outline it (for yourself) in more detail, you'll form clearer reasons to choose one sequence over another.

    No one else can decide this for you. YOU are the writer, and your decision will decide exactly what story you tell.
     
  3. aimlessramblings
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    aimlessramblings Member

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    ok so lets turn the tables...

    you as a reader, if you had a choice, would you rather have more character back story up front,or would you rather jump into the thick of it and find out the back story while reading through ...
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    As the reader, I want the story to be presented as a competent writer decides works best for the story he or she wants to tell.

    Real writers create and present stories. They don't ask the readers how to tell the story.

    Write the story. After you have the first draft, you can always rearrange it if another presentation sequence makes more sense.
     
  5. aimlessramblings
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    aimlessramblings Member

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    your going to make me throw a marshmallow at you aren't you?
     
  6. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just go with the scene you haven't failed at writing the opening for a few times already, and even if that doesn't turn out to be the one you want, at least you started? :p Sounds like the other scene isn't agreeing with you right now. I find if that's happening it's best just to move onto the next.
     
  7. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Personally I much prefer to know the character immediatly. Any chance the questioning could be used to give you background? But then I also like to start with action. What about starting with the arrest?

    I know what you mean nailing the opening scene is so important. I was determined i wasn't going to be one of the people where the agents need to start at the second chapter to decide if they liked the story. I've just written the start of my book 5 times lol
     
  8. Horizon Noise
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    Horizon Noise Member

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    Start with something interesting, whatever that may be. I normally read the first two pages of a novel before I buy it. If nothing interesting has happened, and there is no strong indication that it will, the book goes back on the shelf.

    And I had to laugh - you've rewritten the first paragraph four times? Only about 150 to go to beat my record, then :)
     
  9. erik martin
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    erik martin Contributing Member

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    My own preference is generally to get things moving and then give backstory as needed hopefully worked intelligently into the flow of the story--unless for some reason I decide to do it differently.
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Don't overthink it, or you'll never get it written.
     
  11. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with Horizon Noise, something must grab my attention on the first couple of pages or I don't buy the book.

    It depends on the story but mostly I'd want to know something about the character before I'd be interested in their back story.
     
  12. aimlessramblings
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    aimlessramblings Member

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    yes if is start with the questioning, as the story goes during the killers explination of the killings for each victim, some of the back story is revealed to why he is who he is this day.....
     
  13. Joules03
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    Joules03 Senior Member

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    I agree with Cogito in to just write it. If you have all of it "on paper", then you can worry about the order of everything later. It's much easier - in my opinion - to rearrange scenes when you can actually SEE them. As you write them you might even find it flows one way or another naturally, and you'll wonder why you ever considered it another way!

    Move on from your rewrites and get some other scenes written.
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Write story, not back story.

    Let the back story elements bleed into the story only as needed. Eschew the dreaded infodump.
     
  15. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm much more willing to read backstory about a character after the writer has made me interested in him. I'd say DON'T start with the backstory. Make him an interesting character FIRST. Make me fascinated with his situation. After that you can start telling me something about his past, provided you don't bring the story to a screeching halt to do so. Keep things moving and provide info as you go on.
     
  16. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    There is no single right answer. More importantly, never tailor your writing to what you think readers want to read. Writing by poll is like governing by poll - it only gets us further into the ****.
     

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