1. Prince_Genji
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    Prince_Genji Member

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    Planning out short stories & keeping track of ideas

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Prince_Genji, Oct 23, 2011.

    I have problems writing too much info in and keeping track of where my story is going and how to keep track of and choose between various ideas for stories.

    For my first story, I ended up making up a gigantic background and relatively detailed map for a story that should've just involved a few reflections by the main character trying to decide what course his life should take. I ended up losing track of all this and just giving up.

    My second story ended up being more the first chapter of a novel than a short story. I had originally planned just to end it quickly with a tragedy. I realized that I didn't want to write a tragic ending and tried to salvage it but the idea was too hard to change satisfactorily and I quit again.

    I know I've been quitting too easily. I just get overwhelmed by all the stuff I make up change my mind and run down dead-ends too often to feel happy with a story. I was hoping I could get some ideas on how to plan stories better. I really want to focus on short stories. If you think it would be good to choose a genre, I'd say science fiction.

    Thank you for reading this. :)
     
  2. WoodenPaw
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    WoodenPaw Member

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    Lol....if you get an answer then please do tell us here.
     
  3. shyxter
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    shyxter Member

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    Make an outline first before you start writing your story, so you will be guided. Set a daily goal for your writing and concentrate on that goal so you can take it one step at a time.

    I'd like to share this page, it can help you with your writing:

    http://www.musesland.com/writing-inspiration-tips
     
  4. Prince_Genji
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    Prince_Genji Member

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    @shyxter
    thank you

    @WoodenPaw
    Why do you say that?
     
  5. Prince_Genji
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    Prince_Genji Member

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    Double post error

    sorry
     
  6. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    I have a word document that I use that just has a bunch of ideas for scenes/plot twists whatever. Literally the whole word document is filled with one line sentences with random ideas that I've thought of that I didn't want to forget.
     
  7. Prince_Genji
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    Prince_Genji Member

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    @agentkirb
    How do you keep track of which scenes and plot twists go with which story?
     
  8. UberNoodle
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    UberNoodle Senior Member

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    Hi. I use the mind mapping software, FreeMind. It's free. I also use YWriter to write the stories with. I can arrange stories into scenes and chapters with drag and drop, and non-destructively edit in alternatives. Is this what you're asking about? I have the exact same problem as you. I have thought for too long about what I want to write and now I have so many ideas that they pull me in every conceivable direction. I found that with these applications, I could far more easily keep track of these ideas, sort them, hide them if need be (out of sight, out of mind).
     
  9. Prince_Genji
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    Prince_Genji Member

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    Thank you. That definitely helps.
     
  10. OutlawedAngel
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    OutlawedAngel Member

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    Hey Prince Genji, have you considered other genres of writing, as in my opinion fantasy and science fiction are the two hardest genres to write in, as they do require a lot of invention on the part of the writer i.e. races, landscape your building completely from scratch in most cases. However i also feel if you want to write short stories then keep it simple for the first draft, my first drafts for a short story are usually no more than 1,500 words as im only wanting a basic outline. Then i go over it and pull out what works, and see what i can inject to beef it up, to get it to a larger word count. Also when doing the rough draft i don't concern myself so much with my world, as i do my characters, i want workable characters, and a flowing narrative, i can worry about the landscape in the rewrite. I would also suggest committing to and trying to finish a story, then reread it and see what you can take over into a rewrite. When i was younger i hated editing and rewriting, i still do to some extent - but i have found that evry time i rework or rewrite a piece it gets stronger as my mind is more aware of the world and how it works, its sort of like learning by repitition or something. Anyway hope there was something here that might help.

    OutlawedAngel

    PS: I find some writing software while ideal looking on paper, can be more of a nightmare, i tried to use NewNovelist2 once, and it was a cool tool. But i wasted far too much time filling out things about my world and not enough time actually writing. Therefore i think it depends on what kind of writer you are, i'm a half breed. I just write whatever comes, then i plan for a rewrite using rough draft. I can't plan straight off the bat without knowing something about the story etc..
     
  11. UberNoodle
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    UberNoodle Senior Member

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    True, yet for me, before I started using mind mapping software, I had all these impenetrable notebooks. Though, whenever I do find myself spending more than a few minutes making my mind map pretty, I scold myself and start writing or doing some more brainstorming. Also, I find that when on paper, I tend to think far more critically about what I write. Maybe because of something semantic there about paper and pencil. On the computer, I am so much better able to just pour out all my ideas, great, good and completely silly.
     
  12. OutlawedAngel
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    OutlawedAngel Member

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    See theres something about pen and paper i enjoy, but i can completely relate i am a far faster typer, and i can get my ideas out more fluently, compared to pen and paper where i end up with writers cramp, and i can't put the ideas down as quickly as there coming. However the computer has other bad distractions... namely youtube and facebook so many times i've wasted writing time just doing nothing but procrastanating.

    OutlawedAngel.
     
  13. Prince_Genji
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    Prince_Genji Member

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    Sorry for posting so late. I just want to say I really appreciate the both you sharing your opinions. It's been very helpful.
     

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