1. Rajikai
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    Rajikai Member

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    Know

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Rajikai, Apr 28, 2010.

    I'm just wondering, curious on other people's opinions and such. First, I want to know How do you know what you want to write about. (Like how does the plot come to you.)

    It's that basic. Just want some insight, and that's all.
     
  2. Elvis
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    Elvis Member

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    I used to just get an idea and start typing, but that resulted in way too many false-starts.

    So now what when I get an idea is write it out scene-by-scene taking myself all to the end, or at least setting up the climax. Of course, stuff changes as I write and more ideas come to me, but by at least having a basic outline, I can stay relatively focused and usually make it through.

    As for how I get that plot, it's usually just thinking about what would be cool, then playing the "what if" game until I get something coherent.
     
  3. Deevra
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    Deevra Member

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    I have dreams... The moment I wake up, I type them down, just random notes and scattered comments, mostly. I keep these ideas and snippets around, and pepper my writing with them when the need calls for it. Mind you, I don't just stuff things in just because I came up with it, many an idea still languish in my folder, years and years after being jotted down.
    If your drerams are not prophetic enough, I have been challenged on occasion by my significant other to create a character for her to draw. I find that in the simple act of creating a character, you can spin out story elements, motivations, and worlds just to support a backstory. Try approaching your work from a different angle and build around that angle, be it a setting, object, or person.
     
  4. SilverWolf0101
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    SilverWolf0101 Active Member

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    A lot of my ideas just come to me, so I usually write them down in this pocket sized notebook with whatever information I thought up. There are times however, where the story doesn't go anywhere because it really didn't have that good of a plot. Then again there are other stories where I start out without a plot and let it develop as I go along.

    In fact I had this one story I was working on, for the while it seemed like the plot was the simple fact of a princess over throwing her father to get the throne. Then I thought to myself "Well this is bland... what if..." Well my "What if" actually made the story more appealing (at least in my opinion).

    So yeah, I don't always know where my plot is going to go, or even if there is going to be one. Either way though, its just a subcounscious thing to know what you want to write.
     
  5. Midnight_Adventurer
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    Midnight_Adventurer Active Member

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    Experience, whether it's personal or something I’ve seen or heard. The world is full of inspiration and ideas, even just walking down a street can give me an idea. But mostly for me it's thinking about what I’d like to read about and so I write about it! Then of course there are dreams and just random ideas that seem to come out of nowhere.
     
  6. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    Most of my ideas come from "That's pretty neat, but what if...?"
     
  7. Norm
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    Norm Contributing Member

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    Current story, I use to draw stick figure comics of it back in high school and thought it deserved a proper telling. CURRENTLY ON CHAPTER 8!!!!!!!
     
  8. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ahh! "The Great What-if". I used to teach a writing class and that was one of the admonitions I would give them in fleshing out a story idea or getting past a sticky point when a character got 'too comfortable'.

    I no longer consciously ask myself 'what if', it has embedded itself on a cellular level (No. Not T-Mobile.) Now, I just keep my mind's eye open as I traverse the real world. I listen and, even when I am not trying, I will find my mind grasping some tiny bit of conversation and it takes off. Sometimes, usually in conversation with my son, something will pop up and my mind takes control and, within a minute or two I snap, "SHUT UP!" I'm never really sure if it's him or my brain I'm yelling at.

    My son will then just grin and say, "What? Just write another book?"

    "Yes! Now Stop It!" I tell him. I have about a dozen concepts in various stages in my computer and at least a dozen more in hard copy in my file cabinet. I know I will never be able to write them all, but I also never know when one of these snippets or snatches will be the one to catch my fancy and start me on my next book.
     
  9. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's usually an epiphany as I lie in my darkened room contemplating life.

    But that may not work for everyone. Or indeed, anyone! ;)
     
  10. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    I don't know if anybody does this, but as soon as a sketchy idea of a story struck me, I somehow start thinking about how I would end the story. With the end(last scene) clearly in sight, I develop plots and storyline towards that end. Funny thing is I don't usually use the 'ending' I had thought of in the actual story. Of course, I write only short stories, so I don't know if this will work for a novel if I ever write one :)
     
  11. rainy
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    rainy Senior Member

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    I create a character I like. And then set out to destroy their life :)

    //R
     
  12. Deevra
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    Deevra Member

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    I think that is the most fantastic answer I've ever heard.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i just get an idea and start writing... it's that simple...

    and the ideas can come from anywhere, at any time... including the news, dreams, anything i might see/hear/feel/think...
     
  14. Rajikai
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    Rajikai Member

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    I do the exact same thing, but sometimes I do use the ending, while others, I do as you, and change it to a more suitable ending (Like sometime rainy said)

    I agree with both of you (rainy, and deevra), I also love to write sadistic stories, which ruins their live (I love ending with tragedies). Though in real life it's kinda horrible, in papers I think it's amazing..
     
  15. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    A different take on "Kill your darlings" :)
     
  16. Deevra
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    Deevra Member

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    I think of it like Mike Resnick, one of my favorite Science Fiction writers, build up every character, make them absolutely fascinating, with quirks and wants and desires, then kill them and move on, without even shedding a tear for them.
     
  17. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    I tend to just start writing right away, despite the knowledge that yes, false starts will most probably be inevitable. I just keep rewriting it until i have got the plot written down somewhere on a piece of paper. After that is settled, I can continue writing, or go back and start from the beginning in accordance with my new-planned plot, just in case I missed anything or want to include anything.
     
  18. HeinleinFan
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    HeinleinFan Banned

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    I'm a compulsive world-builder. If you give me an alien, I will develop a society for it. If you give me a prompt, I will develop a situation where it fits. Plots come from the characters I create, and their conflicting desires. That doesn't make writing easy, but it gives me something to work with.

    As an example, I came up with a neat magic system and a Mary Sue when I was in -- eighth grade, I guess. I trimmed him down to a realistic person, and started writing a book. I got 65,000 words into it when a plot hole meteored my story, cutting the usable prose in half. Now, six years later, I have gone through several versions of plot and am currently writing a detailed storyline so I can re-write a prequel book. After this will come a second one (maybe) focusing on the political repercussions of the first book, and then a trilogy (again, predicted not certain) on the war that follows.
     
  19. UnknownBearing
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    UnknownBearing Contributing Member

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    Everything for me centers around my goal, where I need to get to by the time I'm done writing. I always know where I'm going to be when I end, but not necessarily how I'm going to get there. I've written six volumes of this crap, and I've got to say, writing without always knowing where you're going (which specific step you're going to take next) can work out sometimes, as long as you're really really good at filling in the holes.

    A metaphor in my head appears as walls to my ending. What walls have to come down to reach the desired results? Whether it be a death, a failure, or an overcoming of a flaw, when any of those walls come down, they present a new set of walls, or options for plot course, and this continues until I've found the right combination to find my ending and still have a spectacular story with twists that actually makes sense
     
  20. Sparrow
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    Sparrow Member

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    Well, my initial story concepts are ideas that pop into my head. I think, "Oh, that's cool, I've love to read a book with that!" And I begin elaborating on the concept, building bits of the setting or story or whatever. Then there's a moment of mourning that there's probably no book out there that will handle the concept the way I think it should be written and I decide I'll just have to write it myself. I suppose eventually I'll stop reacting as someone who wants to read the concept and go directly to figuring out how to write it.

    When I'm writing, it's hard to describe how I know what to write. This is the first time I've made serious headway in a book. I've done multiple plot outlines and inevitably the story veers off of where I thought it would go. I'll be writing and find things coming out of my head and fingers that I didn't know would come. It's kind of strange. I do have go back and rewrite if I find that the story just doesn't work with what I've just written; I suppose I'll take fewer wrong turns with practice.
     

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