1. ellebell16
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    ellebell16 Member

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    Story Progression

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by ellebell16, Feb 22, 2011.

    How do you map out what happens and when? I have this very detailed plot in my head but I'm having difficulty figuring out the in between parts or when to introduce things. I have the idea - I just don't know how to write it.

    How do you progress a story?
     
  2. Dauracul
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    Dauracul Member

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    I've tried various different things for this... outlines, notepads, spider-charts. My current story involves time travel, and having no other way to organize it, my notes look like a John Madden game plan. Haha.

    I've found its best to work chronologically, and just outline it. I do find that when I actually start writing, I'll think of things to fill in the scenes with, so the outline is more or less just a skeleton to help you get started.
     
  3. ellebell16
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    ellebell16 Member

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    Spider chart...what is that?
     
  4. Dauracul
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    Dauracul Member

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    Spider charts are named because they look like spiders. You'll start with a central idea, and branch off into other ideas from that in different directions (spider legs, sort of). Then from those ideas, branch off into other ideas.

    Here's a good example:

    http://www.the-organic-mind.com/spider-diagrams.html
     
  5. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    For me I just write my first draft will include a lot of fluff but it is easier to work out the bits in between when you have the whole novel written and can see the beginning middle and end.

    Sometimes I use a story fairy to just zap my characters from one scene to another if I have too.
     
  6. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    I'm thinking maybe flowcharts, one bubble leads to another, to another, could look like a spider web.

    I think of a story, basically the foundation of a story, the setting, the problem and where I want it to end up. From there I start writing. Sometimes I don't even have an idea for a destination, just take the unique characters I created and walk them through town, and see if I can find a plot.

    The better stories are the ones that have a foundation. The ones without direction will have to edit out the part without direction later on.

    I find it easier to have the framework of a story set up before writing. Then I can decide if it adds to the outcome, or is just fluff. It is hard to know this, if the outcome is not chosen.
     
  7. FictionAddict
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    FictionAddict Senior Member

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    I could use a little of that. Lol :D

    Being an avid reader, I've always wondered if the authors thought about all the sub-plots beforehand, if in the begining of the novel, they already new the butler was the killer.

    I began writing with just one character in mind. The others came along while the MC walked about. Then, I made files of all the characters, writing down their main qualities, physical features, goal, etc. Then I created a file named: brainstorm. That's where I write down the ideas that pop in my mind every now and then.

    As you can see, I don't have any method at all. I just went forward, doing things while I felt need for them. However, my advice for you is:

    1st: Sketch the plot. Example: Frodo is a hobit who's given the ring of power. He has to go to Mount Doom and destroy it for the sake of all the beings of Middle Earth.

    2nd: Think about the main characters, make files of them detailing their appearence and personality.

    3rd: Go ahead and begin to write. And don't forget to keep the brainstorm file to drop your ideas. :)

    I'm far from a role model for anything, but after I went through a lot of bumps in the road and finally posted a thread here in WF about "writing methods", everything got a lot easier.

    I hope I've helped. ;)
     
  8. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi elle

    It sounds like you're in danger of suffering from paralysis through analysis, where you think too much about where the story is going, and it ends up spinning around your head so much that you don't actually make any progress with the story.

    It sounds ridiculously simple, but just write, if you believe that you have a good, sustainable idea for a novel. Yes, have an idea where the current chapter is going, and preferably the one after that. But don't worry yourself by looking too far ahead.

    Just relax, express yourself, and let it flow. :)
     
  9. Porcupine
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    Porcupine Contributing Member

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    What Halycon says.

    And: Try writing your story as an outline, with bullet points or whatever suits you, just to hold on to the idea. I frequently scribble notes at the end of my files, and put comments all over the place as well, reminding me of sub-plots. Otherwise, like Halycon says, I just write.

    In one case, I have started by writing the scenes I had in mind right away, and then began filling the gaps with ideas I got later. It's working fine so far, even though it's the first time I took this patchwork approach.
     
  10. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is my story fairy`My first draft always includes too much dialogue, sex, talking to dead people, way too many characters, and magic. I have to pull it back when I rewrite lol
     
  11. Terry D
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    Terry D Active Member

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    Whatever worked for you when you were writing long pieces for school -- reports, essays, term papers (particularly term papers) -- should help with writing a novel.

    Once I get ready to start on a book, ideas and scenes are already floating around in my head. I jot them down on a sheet of notebook paper and then link them together with lines like a flow chart. This is my rough outline. Once I start writing, I might stick to it, rearrange it, or skip entire chunks of it, but it is always there for guidance.
     
  12. FindJoyInLife
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    FindJoyInLife New Member

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    I used to teach and I would have my students use a technique called a "mind dump" in order to organize their writing. It basically worked like this:
    1. Write down everything in your brain, names, ideas, places, stories, any small detail you want to include, etc
    2. Organize everything you wrote down by category
    3. Color code things based on how you want to introduce them (I use 5 colors for 5 parts when writing a novel)
    4. Outline
    5. Write

    I don't know if this approach will work for you but hopefully it will.
     

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