1. Ashrynn
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    Ashrynn Active Member

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    Right off the bat?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Ashrynn, Jun 6, 2011.

    So I changed the plot of the story I'm writing and although I don't want to get too far into it I am starting it off with the main character being dumped one week prior to the start.

    I don't want to use flash backs, so I started with her speaking in the first paragraph and the next two go briefly into the person she loved and their break-up before continuing.

    Is this a solid way of drawing attention from the reader without making thinds too 'un-readable'? I think I did it well >.<?
     
  2. Irontrousers
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    Irontrousers Member

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    If you did it well, then it will work.
    If you didn't, then it won't.
     
  3. Ashrynn
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    Ashrynn Active Member

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    A point so good that you can't argue it I guess?

    Hrmmm....

    I'm going to right it out, chapter by chapter and when I finish one chapter type it up and work it out.

    I find that while writing there is something I wanted to add that I didn't and since I don't want to get all messed up I'm taking down notes as I write.
     
  4. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    I think that will set the tone of the story and draw the reader in.
     
  5. Ashrynn
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    Ashrynn Active Member

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    Thank You Doctor Who Fan!
     
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  6. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    Ground the information into the experiences and reactions of the MC. Make her feel like a person who was recently dumped, not a person who stands dumbly as a writer explains her history.
     
  7. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    You're welcome! :D
     
  8. Ashrynn
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    Ashrynn Active Member

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    I was able to get through the chapter and I'm going to type it up tonight when I get back home. I do think I was able to capture the right emotional tone for the moment.

    It's a bit difficult because I need to make it something people feel and at the same time I can't make it so that it's "emo".

    Had to throw in some dialogue and it wrapped up right I'd say!
     
  9. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not a bif fan of romance, but if you want my advice, just write it the way you want. you can always change it later if you think it will be better. Also, get someone outside your family and friends to test read it. (family and friends are the worst critics, as they usually say it's good just to spare your feelings. No one wants to tell their partner their hard work sucks.)
     
  10. Ashrynn
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    Ashrynn Active Member

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    It's unfortunate, but I don't know if I can trust anyone(even family or friends) to read my work.

    Honestly, due to the nature of what I'm writing I feel embarrassed if someone who knows me reads it...
     
  11. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    That is a problem, I agree. What about some co-workers? Relatives? If you are worried about your work, you can give them a small part of it. If they want more, that's a great sign. Or you can give it to someone in your family and ask them to be honest. But even they say they will be honest, I wouldn't trust them too much. It has nothing to do with them, of course, but they might not be too honest without even being aware of it.

    Not sure what to do about the embarrassment part, though. But if it helps, I would think most people are embarrassed to let someone read their work. If you have spent a lot of time and effort to write something, you really want it to be successful. Many people never try to publish a finished manuscript in fear of having it rejected, and even if it is published, they might not think it's "good enough". I guess the best thing is to take a chance and get it out there. Even if the story is sensitive, the hard part can be to get it out to the public. Once it's out there, it might not be as bad as you feared. Might. You won't know until it's out there, and by then it's too late. Sorry, it's two in the morning, so I can only hope I make sense. I mean it well, though. ;)
     
  12. Glimpse
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    Glimpse Member

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    Hope I'm not intruding, but...

    Yes, it's a totally legitimate way of starting the story if you keep it short and sweet. To expand on that: I don't know the plot of the story you're writing (not a big fan of conventional romances myself --with a few exceptions), but I do know that pacing is incredibly important in emotional stories (i.e. romances), and one of the best ways to control pacing is by using paragraph lengths and so on. It's not important for me here to know what the story's about, but three paragraphs as exposition to the ex-lover works well if you're trying to say that she's moved on, as in the lover isn't something to dwell on for too long and you're just using him as a bit of exposition. Unless of course, the three paragraphs themselves are written to be strong, emotionally speaking, in which case it seems a bit too little, considering the protagonist is still emotionally attached to the ex. Basically, what I'm saying is that it all depends on the plot. I'd expand further on each scenario (still pining over lost love/gotten over it/etc), but I'm not too keen on writing out every possible way these paragraphs could be written. It would help if you could explain the basic premise of the story.
     
  13. Ashrynn
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    Ashrynn Active Member

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    Well then let me elborate a bit on what I want the first chapter to look like:

    The story starts with the entrance into college. One chases after the person she is with, but as she comes closer to this goal she is dumped. So at the start I want to keep it pretty strong, as the break-up is fresh and she is going to be in the same college with her ex. At the same time I'm going to make the first paragraph something to grab at the reach and then keep her explanation of the girl in one paragraph in short details and in the next go into her excitement of how close she was to being with the person she cared for again only to have things blow up in front of her face.

    Past that, she just described driving down to the campus with her father, and although I am trying to make it suttle, as I don't want run-on paragraphs of her emotional state to cloud the scene up, there are points where she talks about how unsure she is of going(even though she is already on her way) and how she wishes she could stay with her family giving some brief insight on them through a conversation with her dad before leaving.

    If I feel this is enough to warrant it's own chapter, that works, if not I'll stretch it into her entering her dorm room and meeting her room-mate before the next chapter.

    Beginnings are always a killer for me.

    My characters feel real to me and as such I imagine the lives they held before the beginning. As humans our story begins from the moment we begin to open our eyes and ignoring all of that so that we can pinpoint where we begin is a bit annoying. I could spend months writing the main character's biography so having to start without the reader knowing who she is or why anything matters about her situation means I need to make sure that the first chapter is always one that gives just enough detail so the character feels real while not bogging it down with drama.

    The plot is simple though. Two young lovers are seperated. One chases the other only to arrive and find that she has moved on and her dreams of the future are crushed under the weight of reality. The one must then piece together herself from the shattered remnants of the future she had imagined and go through her college life.

    Along the way she begins to define herself outside of who she was with her lover and grows more sociable, making friends along the way.

    As the climax begins to build up in the latter half her ex returns and the girl, despite all that she has accomplished is too weak to resist. It is soon after that the truth of their break-up is revealed and the girl breaks down falling into depression hastily deciding to drop out from college and go to another school.

    It is then that a friend is able to pull her back onto her feet and she becomes able to stand up on her own again. She has one final conversation with her ex and the book ends with her rising from a foolish love-struck child into an independant woman.

    Throw in some cool dialogue, fancy words, and some angst and we have ourselves a novel I suppose!

    @ The Review Angle - The main character and her ex are both female and that's where it arises. I'm unsure of how it is that I present this to my family, friends, co-workers or anyone who knows me as nobody really...'knows' me.
     
  14. Glimpse
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    Glimpse Member

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    Yes, that’s very helpful.

    Anyway, considering that the protagonist here is still emotionally attached, it would be fitting to have her reflecting on her current state of affairs in the first few paragraphs. In fact, it’s a real mood-setter, so yeah, stretching it beyond three paragraphs would be even better if done correctly. And by that, I mean not overdone to the point where it becomes overdramatic and or laughably melodramatic, if you get my drift. What I suggest beyond that is that you keep the angst light in this part (even if you were to stretch it over a few paras), so you don’t kill the mood from the melodrama. This also helps you divert the attention from angsting to the surroundings and possibly a bit of light dialogue with her father for a bit while still maintaining the somber mood. Am I making sense?

    Besides that, the only thing I suppose you shouldn’t do is to continue the chapter into the dorm room because that’s a bit too much if you want to keep the focus around this particular feeling in the first chapter. It’s alright if it’s a bit short, but the dorm room is a new scene entirely, and switching there mid-chapter is bound to disorient readers because it’s a new environment, and often it’s associated with new beginnings, thus you lose the mood you created initially. Needless to say, that’s not what you want.

    Also, unrelated to the question, I have to say that I do like how the novel ends. Romances are still not my cup of tea, but it’s still a nice, uplifting ending, albeit a bit on the angsty side, though that’s not entirely bad –it’s just my opinion.
     
  15. Ashrynn
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    Ashrynn Active Member

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    I'm not sure how it will end, but I think maybe with her going out on a date with someone else entirely as she moves on.

    I'm thinking of the dad and keeping it like that, but at the same time I want the chapter end with a bit of a funny conversation right at the end as the leaves to take a slight lift-up into the next chapter.
     
  16. Glimpse
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    Glimpse Member

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    I can see how that might be a good idea, but I feel that it would be better implied instead of shown. As in imply she's dating someone instead of showing it. It works better, but you're the writer, so I'll reserve my comments there.

    Well, as long as you don't overdo the funny bit because then it will probably ruin the mood. My advice: do whatever it is you think is right, and if it works well, it probably works because there's only so much I can do without actually having the whole thing in my head or in front of me. That's up to you. :)
     

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