1. walshy12238
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    walshy12238 Senior Member

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    No idea how to begin

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by walshy12238, Aug 14, 2011.

    Ok so, for the novel I'm currently working on I have a plot outline and character profile for each of the main characters in the story. About ten minutes ago, I sat myself down and decided I was going to write at least the introduction. The problem is, I have no idea how to begin.
    I have the introductory scene's purpose and details sorted out, I just can't figure out how I want to write it...
    Does anyone else have this problem? If so, how do you guys work around/through it?
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Start with a scene that 1) Shows (not infodumps) the MC's personality and situation, and 2) introduces conflict to the story. The conflict in the beginning doesn't have to be the big conflict of the overall book, but it should be relevant. For example, my YA fantasy starts with my MC not getting along with her mom in the car while she's being driven to her great-aunt's place for the summer. It's not the overall conflict, but the readers will still have some tension to begin with -- no one wants to read through 10 introductory pages that describe the MC's kitchen or something.

    Also, if your story is a horror/dystopian/scifi/etc, you'll want your intro scene to set the tone and show (not infodump) what the circumstances of your world are like.
     
  3. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    I often start before I want the actual story to start. Sometimes even long before. Then when I'm done with the first draft, I read through it and decide where it should begin, as often you can't tell what would be the perfect start until the whole thing is in front of you.
     
  4. TSC
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    TSC Member

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    I get that too, I don't really have any way around it as such, but I just write it anyway. Sure it often sucks, but once I've written it down in some way or other I can always go back and edit it out of recognition, which to be honest is something I would do probably do with the introduction regardless of its actual quality - first drafts just never seem quite right to me.
     
  5. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think everyone struggles with the start of a story from time to time, and everyone have their own solutions how to solve it. Some write the start anyway and edit it later, some focus too hard on the start and ignore the rest, and some even give up. Others again, like me, skip the start entirely and start a bit later in the story. It's a long story after all and takes months to write, so I can come back and finish up the start in a few months when I know the characters and story better.
     
  6. JeffS65
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    JeffS65 Contributing Member

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    The first time you shoot a basket, you don't start going for three pointers. Don't try so hard to write the perfect beginning. Get something to get your writing rolling. After a bit of writing, the intro will likely flesh itself out.
     
  7. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If you're having trouble with the intro, start with a different scene. Write something further into the story. Find the tone of the story; find the voice you want to use. Come back to the intro when you're ready for it.

    You might even find that you don't need it. Often, when I'm stuck on a scene or a passage, I move on to something else, and when I come back I realize that the reason I was stuck is that the scene didn't belong in the first place.
     
  8. walshy12238
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    walshy12238 Senior Member

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    Thanks for the help, guys. I think I'll probably try starting off further into the plot, and see if that helps.
    If that fails, then I'll try all the others.
     
  9. AveryWhite
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    AveryWhite Senior Member

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    i have the same problem sometimes. i just try my hardest to write and come up with something, but it often ends up as not very good. iv done alot of re-writing.

    so often i just end up writing the scenes i want to write and am able to and go along in that way till i can join them up. ill probably end up doing the start last.
     
  10. Pea
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    Pea super pea!

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    Just remember that it's only the first draft, so you can still write even if you think it's rubbish or the plot isn't completely right, just getting something down is important.

    Doing notes can help too, on whatever subject of the story that you're finding tough to work on or aren't sure where to go with.
     
  11. theweatherman
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    theweatherman Member

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    Just write it, and make sure it flows. If you think by the time you finished your story that it needs a re-write, just do that. It's not like your introduction is set in stone. Good luck!
     
  12. DBock
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    DBock Member

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    Do what I do. Start three chapters into the story and figure out the beginning later. Write parts in fragments and then piece them together. You can always rewrite later but what's important right now is getting out that 'shitty first draft'. :) If you know a scene you want to write --- write it! :)
     
  13. skeloboy_97
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    skeloboy_97 Senior Member

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    i agree with the others. Just make sure of one thing. The intro is captivating. If a publisher reads the first few chapters and is boring, there is a good chance they wont even read the rest
     
  14. The_NeverPen
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    The_NeverPen Member

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    Start with a short story. Repeat until writing a novel is no longer a question of "How?".
     
  15. walshy12238
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    walshy12238 Senior Member

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    OK, so I sat down maybe an hour ago and started writing about two or three chapters into the story. I was going fairly well, considering that it's a rough draft, when I suddenly had a brainwave on how to go about the introduction. I finished off the paragraph I was on, then went back and wrote a pretty solid intro. No doubt I'm going to have to go back and edit a whole heap, but I have the basics there now.
    Thanks guys!
     
  16. AveryWhite
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    AveryWhite Senior Member

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    good for you :D
     
  17. DBTate
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    DBTate Senior Member

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    Swish. ;)

    Jeff summed it up.
     
  18. klk.yangon
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    klk.yangon Member

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    Same here - had seven version of about a half-a-thousand words for the frigging start. And finally chose the less straight forward one, a little complexity helps.
     
  19. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    yay!
    :)
     
  20. Lightman
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    Lightman Active Member

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    My apologies for being unhelpful, but this is why I start writing a story before I have an outline in my head. I once compiled a list of all the stories and novels a character had written from age ten to thirty, complete with synopsizes and excerpts. I ended up writing a single page of that story before abandoning it.
     
  21. DBock
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    DBock Member

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    AWESOME! That's what always helps me. :)
     
  22. Three
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    Three Member

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    Try writing in super basic script form.
    George: bla bla bla
    Jerry: Bla bla bla
    Elaine: Bloobidy bloo
    Kramer: BOO YAAAA

    Might be narritive that's catching you - I do that a lot. Unfortunatly, this method does come with it's own problems, but at least you have it down on paper. :D
     

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