1. starrynight89
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    starrynight89 Senior Member

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    Start from the Beginning, Middle or End?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by starrynight89, May 17, 2008.

    Hey guys,

    So, I have this idea and a loose plot to suport it, but for the past week I've just been writing random scenes with the main characters, just to get to know them. I haven't officially started chapter one yet.

    Do you start writing from the beginning? Or write out of order and string the pieces together?
     
  2. Smithy
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    Smithy Senior Member

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    I try and work from beginning to end, but sometimes I'll go back and make revisions before I'm finished if I suddenly decide that I could do this bit better.
     
  3. Gone Wishing
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    Gone Wishing Contributing Member

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    I think that is perfectly fine to do - particularly if you don't have a solid plot to work from. More often that not, I will write my stories out of sequence, as different scenes inspire me at different times and I would rather work on what is at the forefront of my mind (otherwise I risk being distracted by it and not giving other scenes proper attention).

    At times I will start with the smallest of ideas - even just a word, name or phrase - that intrigues me, and will sit down to write from that. Sometimes I continue to be inspired from that and it evolves into a full story, other times I abandon it only to find a use for it later on.

    Even just as an exercise in characterisation, I would say that what you are doing has value.
     
  4. wildflower
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    wildflower Member

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    thats how i write as well. Once i have enough excerpts written, i'll think about starting the story - its the hardest part
     
  5. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    Sometimes for fun I write excerpts from unwritten/unfinished stories, scenes that haven't happened yet, but I've found that it's much easier to just keep them in my head until I actually get to the scenes in question, else I'll usually just have to redo the entire thing to make it fit in anyway. Often the way I first visualize a scene isn't the way it ends up turning out in the story.

    A couple of times I've discovered with surprise a scene I had previously written which later ended up in a story, and was appalled by how "wrong" the older version was, now that the rest of the story had been written and I knew all the details surrounding the scene (which I couldn't have known when I wrote the excerpt). *shudder*

    On re-reading your post though, if you're just writing random scenes to develop your characters, that's a fine idea. One which I'd love to have time to do more of myself. It's just that these scenes might look awkward later on when you've advanced through the story, and might need to be reworked. If they're not going into the story at all and are just exercises, there's nothing to worry about (if you even were!).
     
  6. starrynight89
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    starrynight89 Senior Member

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    Thanks for sharing!


    tehut~> I know exactly how you feel. I write something and while I'm in the editing phase, I make so many changes that it's not even the same piece anymore.
     
  7. Rumpole40k
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    Rumpole40k Banned

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    It depends on the project, but most of my stuff starts out as a series of disjointed paragraphs that only connect well after I have written several pages worth. I'm actually in the process of connecting the dots right now.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    For me, a story gegins with a scene. Where that scene falls in the story varies. More scenes come to mind, and I have to connect them in the right sequence regardless of the order I envisoned them.
     
  9. lessa
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    lessa Contributing Member

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    Let's start at the very beginning
    a very good place to start.

    sorry that song is playing and the title of this post made me do it.
    or as Flip used to say.
    "the Devil made me do it.

    I will now go and sit in the corner.
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I bow to you, lessa, Oh quoter of Geraldine :D
     
  11. InPieces
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    InPieces Senior Member

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    I normally start at the beginning. However, that beginning is vastly re-edited after the end has been written.
     
  12. MumblingSage
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    MumblingSage Contributing Member

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    I tend to write whatever scenes come to me on paper, then place the papers in the order I feel they should be in. Then I try and brainstorm ways to string the scenes together (I usually have a pretty good idea before I start writing them).

    Once I feel I'm ready, I start writing the first chapter if I haven't already and then go on through the story. Stuff near the end tends to change quite a bit before I come to it.

    More often for short stories, I just begin at the beginning and, with any luck, when I get to the end, stop.
     
  13. Amor
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    Amor Member

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    I think that it's fine to write from th ebeginning, middle, or the end, really, because as long as you can just connect several scenes and fill in the blanks, it's all good -- especially since you don't have a solid plot.
     
  14. Kit
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    Kit Contributing Member Contributor

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    It depends what order it comes to me really. More often than not I do start at the beginning. However, if I have a burning idea for something that's going to happen later on in the story then i'll write that scene and then fill in the gaps to link it up to the rest of the story.

    Sometimes when you're stuck for ideas it can help.
     
  15. Cheeno
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    Cheeno Contributing Member

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    The way I see it, whatever works for you at the time is the one to stick with. Beginning in the middle of the action, whether it's waiting for something to happen, or reacting to an incident, will usually create the necessary momentum to take you on to the next course of action/reaction. Once you have it down, then the connecting and reviewing process, the real work, can begin. Review, review, review...Some of my first drafts bear little resemblance to their finished sibling, but that's the real buz of writing, I find...developing from the initial endeavour until it's mature enough to stand on its own. In saying that, there's no true 'rule', as such - what's good for one, mightn't work for another. Experiment, make mistakes, cry, change, learn, enjoy.:)
     

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