1. Daggers
    Offline

    Daggers Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Ankh-Morpork

    Making sense of it all!

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Daggers, Jun 7, 2011.

    Hi Writers,

    I wanted to ask you fine, fine people a question.

    How do you make sense of all the ideas floating around in your noggin?

    Here's what I'm like, I get lots of ideas, dozens, hundreds even. Usually to do with a setting, a "universe" I could create, or often it's a character. A character's name, his backstory, his personality etc. etc.

    What I struggle with is slotting these ideas into a fully thought out story. I struggle with plots. I feel like I could create the most rich, engaging world for my story to take place in but...what's the story?

    Do any of you have ideas or tips to help me? Anything from little story planning techniques, mental exercises. Anything you do to go from brainstorming to planning to writing to finishing a story?

    Is it just a case of practice, practice, practice? Maybe the more I try to write the easier it will become. I guess my creative mind is a little dusty at the moment but I'm finding it very hard to get stuck into one of my ideas. Maybe it's because I have too much going on, too many changes to the way my life is heading at the moment or maybe I'm just lacking motivation.

    Either way, in case you had not yet realised, this is indeed a plea for help from some of the more seasoned/imaginative writers out there. Any advice or ideas at all would be so much appreciated, or if you have, or have had the same problem please do not hesitate to reply or PM me!

    Many Thanks
    -Daggers
     
  2. James Scarborough
    Offline

    James Scarborough Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    San Jose, Costa Rica (Central America)
    In order to progress from "thinking about" writing to actually doing it, you need to start writing. From what you've said in your post, a good start would be to keep a notebook or index cards with you at all times and write down all of your ideas and thoughts before you forget them. At this stage, avoid being judgmental and self-critical. Write everything down that you think may be useful in developing your story or stories.

    Set aside "work time" every day for your writing. During this time, begin to organize your notes and perhaps start a writer's journal where you can think through and sort your thoughts a little better.

    Initially, you may find yourself working on several different story ideas simultaneously. Eventually one of them will begin to take shape and you'll want to start actually writing the story itself.

    You'll probably still keep having ideas that don't really fit into the story you're working on. That's okay. Just keep making notes of them. You can always use them in the future.
     
  3. Daggers
    Offline

    Daggers Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Ankh-Morpork
    Thanks! That's really helpful advice. I guess my main issue at the moment is just finding the time of day to sit down and write!
     
  4. Melzaar the Almighty
    Offline

    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,792
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    UK
    I carry around a lot of stories in that sort of shape. Usually I just muse on them - I often don't even know what the plot is when I start, but I just let the impressions of it all build up for long enough that eventually I *have* to write it. I just sit down, start typing, and go on with not much of an idea of where it's going for several pages... Seeing it all written down as a first chapter gives it so much more like than notes or whatever will do, and from there it's a lot easier to work out how to progress with vague ideas. :)
     
  5. Ice Queen
    Offline

    Ice Queen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Scotland
    Oh, if you have a character; write what you know about him/her. Often things will just flow from there and they might even end up telling you what their story is or where they belong (it's happened to me a lot)

    If you have a world; draw a map or write it down: what are the natural problems in the world; what are the man-made ones? Find a conflict from either of these or other things and try throwing your characters in there to see how they react? :3
     
  6. JimFlagg
    Offline

    JimFlagg Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Messages:
    375
    Likes Received:
    6
    "what's the story?"

    That is the key to any good book. Any one can write about a person, place or thing its telling a story that is the hard part. Without a story you can not make a good plot.

    To come up a with a story you need inspiration (a muse helps). I get inspired through reading. I love to read about different points of view of life and the world around us. Keeping an open mind helps. If you have a point of view on this thing we call life and your heart tells you to write about it, the story will come.

    Some things that have worked for other people it to do fan fiction. With fan fiction you do not need to think of the story because some one has already done that for you. This will help give you inspiration in which can be applied to your novel.

    Every one is different and they find their "Muse" in different places. My advice is to experience the world. The medium you do it with is up to you. Try these...

    Bloging
    Reading
    Forums
    News (TV, Radio, News Paper or Internet News)

    I am sure there are other ways to get these experiences and others here will share theirs with you.

    As for organizing your ideas, I take notes. I have a blank pages on the top of my novel that is used for notes. I put down things like time lines, character names, attributes, place names and so on. Some people use note pads. What ever works for you. Its interesting that you make your characters before you make your story. It is usually the other way around for me. I make my characters during the story. It might be a rookie mistake but it seems to work for me. Then I take the notes and put them in my note area.
     
  7. Ashrynn
    Offline

    Ashrynn Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Messages:
    170
    Likes Received:
    7
    I started out with wanting to make a sweet little romance novel and as I came up with the characters something entirely different hit me.

    I went with that.
     
  8. Quezacotl
    Offline

    Quezacotl Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Ponyville
    Jame's advice is the best, just write and do not actively judge your writing. You can always come back to edit it and organize it later, just get your ideas down. However, if you think of something related to the passage you are writing, quickly summarize it in the margins, and get back to writing the previous idea, you don't want to lose your train of thought.


    I've dealt with this problem - if you want to start controlling it, try thinking of a certain situation you want to write about, choose the characters present, and determine how each would reaction to said situation. Just be warned, have a notebook with plenty of blank pages, writing aimlessly can really fill the pages.
     
  9. Daggers
    Offline

    Daggers Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Ankh-Morpork
    Thank you so much for all your replies. I really do appreciate that you have all taken the time to read my post and offer me advice!

    I think going by your points, the general consensus here is to just write, and that the ideas will then (hopefully) take shape. I think I'll try to set aside a little time for myself every night to write and really dedicate myself to writing rather than just picking up the pen whenever the mood hits me!

    Thanks again!
     
  10. Gigi_GNR
    Offline

    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Messages:
    12,143
    Likes Received:
    250
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Whenever I get various ideas floating around in my brain, I carry around a notebook and write them down as they come to me. Doesn't matter if they're not in order, I can order them later. That way I remember them and have them for later reference.
     
  11. Staal
    Offline

    Staal New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Same here, I have a nifty notepad function on my phone that I use, works really well.
     

Share This Page