1. Trytz
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    Trytz New Member

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    Questions for Developing a story....

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Trytz, Dec 1, 2011.

    Hello everyone! I am just wondering what are the approaches everyone takes when developing a story. Like what type of questions do you ask yourself. Here are a bit of mines...

    Type of story - meaning realistic, mythical, etc
    Purpose for the main character, why is he/she significant
    - what is there drive to go on the path ahead?

    type of world? - post apocalyptic, ... etc?

    here are a few of mines , whats yours?
     
  2. Jethelin
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    Jethelin Member

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    Hmm. I usually just let my imagination...wreak havoc...on whatever I am writing or trying to develop into a story. Usually works for me with some changes made later. The world the story is set in is generally the first thing I think of in the form of just a vague idea of the world. Then as I am figuring out the characters, I start bringing the world into more detail and life.
     
  3. Trytz
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    Trytz New Member

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    Haha. I hear what you are saying. But I have no problem starting stories that way but I am always forced into a dead path that is hard to recover from. Like I have two complete "short stories" but due to my approach I feel I may not be able to continue them. I am looking for different approaches that way I may be able to conjure a new way for myself and possibly others who read this post haha...
     
  4. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    I usually don't ask I just do.
    how many characters?
    what are their names?interesting one never heard before/made up/
    how old would they be?old enough/your age (preferably)
    what type of characters are they? happy/clever/witty/eccentric/jovial/
    what vocabulary should I use? funny/serious/mixed/
    what is the topic of my story?
    what is the tone of my writing? witty/platonic/subdued/futuristic/here and now/
    what images should I use?/prose/theatrical/dramatic/naturistic/summery/springy
    what beginning/middle and ending should I have? an open one/ a straight/ then then tense then surprising/ the same/ not sure yet/
    should I have various versions to my story? written as me/as man/a woman/ as both/as a teenager/as politician/as an artist/
    how long/how short/?
     
  5. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    I don't really think about it when I start a story, ideas are easy but at some point I need to make sure I'm not missing anything or if I run into a roadblock I will ask things like
    What does my MC want?
    Why can't she have it?
    What will hapeen if she doesn't get it?
    What is she willing to give up to get it?
     
  6. Trytz
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    Trytz New Member

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    Hello everyone, I appreciate all of your responses and yes, they have been much help. I am currently working on a new project that I have high hopes for and these type of questions are exactly what I am looking for... Anyone else please continue to list whatever it is that helps you to continue your story. :)
     
  7. Faust
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    Faust Contributing Member Supporter

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    I usually take my idea and just write, however to avoid getting stuck when I feel I'm in a pinch I usually follow the Ye Olde Fork in the Road:

    "Left or Right?"

    Do I want my character to succeed or fail?
    What is to be gained from winning? From losing?
    What are my character(s) motivation(s)? Are they pure? Are they human?
    Does my character NEED to follow this path? Or is there an alternative way?

    Basically, I avoid the pitfall of thinking I'm in a dead end by constantly giving myself a new direction. Don't do this all the time or your story may spiral out of control and become something totally different.

    Or is that a bad thing?
     
  8. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    I am writing a seven part series right now; so I have a sort of "bible" written out for me so I do no contradict myself as I go. It is partial outline and general information on the world/characters etc.
     
  9. sirkeystone
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    sirkeystone New Member

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    Just a quick answer for a long, gruelling one. I have been completely restructuring the way I design the architecture of a story. Starting with the idea, I then come up with two main characters (or more depending on the situation - protag/antag stuff) Then I come up with how I want to end the story and drive backward. If I don't work backward, I find I end up with too many loose ends that I can't tie back together.

    It's at this point that I decide on an era/fictional world and start adding more secondary characters. I usually use either Antemion's Writer's Cafe (free trial, which I haven't upgraded yet) or Liquid Story Binder (expensive but worth it if you are writing a series!) Writer's Cafe allows you to have either the mind map style, the bulletin board style, or the note card style to arrange your notes. I love the pin/bulletin board because I can just start throwing random things about the plot (pictures of characters etc) on the board and arrange them later as I start paring the story down.

    Then once you have the road map or "bible" as Jhunter mentioned, then start filling in the details.

    Don't forget how important it is to make your main character struggle with two of the main three inner turmoil. Justice, Survival, or Love. Make sure that in order to have one of these core values the other has to be decided against and this could make or break your story.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i don't ask any questions... i have a plot in mind, so i just sit down, start writing, and let the story take me where it wants to go... if it's a novel, i may lay out a rough-to-fairly-detailed outline of sorts... or i may not...
     
  11. erik martin
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    erik martin Contributing Member

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    I like to have the main points of the story worked out before I start writing. I want to know:
    What's happening?
    Who's doing it?
    What's trying to stop them?
    Why should anyone care?
    Where is it happening?
    When is it happening?
    How does it resolve?
     
  12. BookWeaver
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    BookWeaver New Member

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    I like these questions; they could be very useful for future reference, AmyHolt. As for my own strategies, they tend to vary (as usual). Sometimes I don't ask any questions. (character+setting+binge writing= making-it-up-as-I-go) But sometimes I get inspired by an idea or a theme. In that case, I ask questions about all the elements of my story. How does this world reveal something about my theme? What concept does this character represent to the bigger picture? When I think in terms of thematic undertones, I sometimes have more luck determining the little details that make the story move forward.
     

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