1. ENJOY
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    ENJOY Member

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    Question

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by ENJOY, Feb 22, 2011.

    OK so I have been writing short story for about a year but I want to write a bigger ones (some of you might of read me mention it) called the Circle Of Madagascar. But(yes there was going to be a but) I am not sure how to start. I have a basic plot in my head and some other info but how do I start. So I ask Jeeves, search Google and ask ask(LOL:D) but there are so many different opinions. Some people say to just write and let the story take over(Sounds a bit cheesy) and some people say to plan every chapter and every development(sounds a bit tiresome).

    SOOOOOO, what do you think do you plan your story or do it off the top off you head?
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    For me the first draft is my plan once I know the story, have it written characters beginning to develop and form then I plan the rewrite.
     
  3. Porcupine
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    Porcupine Contributing Member

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    You probably have a decent idea for the beginning - why not just start and write that? You can then see whether you immediately get new ideas to continue or whether you have to start generating ideas.
     
  4. mattyb
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    mattyb Member

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    A bit of both. You need a rough plan at least, but once you start writing you will notice that things will change anyway. You will get a great idea or realise that something doesn't work. Just write and see what happens!
     
  5. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    with no regard for plot, theme , style etc. per se , try to catalouge the inspiration in to rough draft flash fiction scenes . hammer out the basic characters and then set it aside and let it idea percolate
     
  6. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    I don't think its enough to have a 'basic plot' in your head before you start writing. I think you need a more solid idea of where your story starts, how it develops and where it ends. You need to know your characters as well as you know your best friend.

    What helps with that is if you make a record for each of your characters, detailing everything there is to know about them, including those things you may never mention.

    Also write a basic plan, a summary of the story, even a breakdown of chapters and what you expect to happen in each chapter. These don't need to be rigid - a story goes to where it needs to, even though you may think that sounds cheesy.

    I don't know how serious you are about writing because you dismiss the two main options - letting the story develop - sounds 'too cheesy' for you, and planning every chapter - sounds 'too tiresome'.

    What would say the other options are? Doing it straight off the top of your head won't work for you, because you say you have a 'basic plot' and some other info., but if that's all you have, it's not enough.

    I may be wrong, and I'm sorry if I am, but you sound as if you think writing's an easy option. Just think of something, get the instructions, put it together.

    Doesn't really happen like that. I think you have quite a bit of work to do before you're ready to start seriously writing anything.
     
  7. spamalope01
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    spamalope01 Member

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    I agree with Porcupine....based on what you know about your plot and characters, I'm sure that you could just start writing based on things that happen early on in the story.

    Usually when I write short pieces, if I don't have the entire story already figured out, I at least know a few things....the main character, maybe one or two key scenes, and the general "what if" of the story. Think of movies you've seen before....think about how many of them started out. They either opened with a scene of something that much later became relevant to the overall plot (like in the original Saw, where they showed Adam underwater and something floating in front of him only to have it go down the drain when he unplugs the tub), or they started with the main character entering into a situation (which could be as simple as the person walking into a Starbucks, or sitting at a table at a cafe when a body falls from 16 stories above and lands on a parked car not 10 feet away).

    But start your story as close to the ending as possible and just start putting it down. You'll know pretty early on if what you're writing is taking the story in the intended direction or not.

    If it is, great. If it's not...hey, it's only words. :)
     
  8. Silver_Dragon
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    Silver_Dragon Senior Member

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    If this is a novel and you haven't written one before, I'd suggest starting out with a good knowledge of your characters and an outline, as Evelon suggests. I don't think everything necessarily needs to be planned out at the beginning, but a vague chapter outline and knowledge of the major conflicts in your book could save you some frustration. I never plan out the ending when I do my outlines since I know it will change many times before I get there anyway.
     
  9. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    Plan, but don't get lost in the planning. Spend more time writing than planning.
     
  10. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    *feels sorry for the OP* He came here knowing the debate and got a repeat of it anyway. :p

    Really I'd just say find out what works for you. Assuming you know a bit about your story, so start writing, and if you get three paragraphs in and think, "Oh god I can't do this without a plan!" then write the plan out. Or you might emerge blinking a week later from your cave thinking, "Woah, I wrote 30,000 words this weekend without stopping once?!"

    I personally usually just start and let things flow, but while I'm off doing other stuff like shopping/doing dishes/falling asleep in lectures, I think about the story and come up with new ideas, and sometimes I edit, and sometimes I come up with a plan - I don't rely too heavily on a plan when I have one, but I generally can't make it to the end of a story without at least jotting notes to keep my head in order. Often it's retrospective rather than looking ahead: I wrote out a time line of events so far in my novel mostly to make sure characters knew what they were talking about since about 3 months have passed in the action, and 10 years in the overall story. But the time line only goes up to the point I'm writing, because I don't know if I'll want wriggle room later, like, if I say "They can't spend more than a month in this place!" then inevitably the events may seem a bit crammed in or rushed or something.

    Aaanyway. Rambling. Tired. Will let you get on with your life. :p
     

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