1. DBTate
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    DBTate Senior Member

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    The first few pages

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by DBTate, Aug 10, 2011.

    Hey guys,

    I've only just joined the forum, as lately I've felt the need to surround myself with 'my own kind' ;) I feel that having people to bounce ideas off and give helpful, constructive criticism will benefit my writing substantially! So I'd like to get straight in to it with a question!

    Do you think it's a good idea to begin writing smack bang in the 'middle' of a story? Have you ever done it yourself? I've recently started work on a fantasy novel (I've written quite a lot before, though never with the intention of it being more than a way to relax and empty my mind), and I've struggled a bit with the first few chapters.

    I have a general plot outline, and there is a particular area I'd like to start from. I think it will help me understand my characters a little more; their motives, their personalities etc. And I think that once I have established that it might help with portraying them in those first few static chapters.

    Any thoughts and / or personal experience would be greatly appreciated! If you'd like me to elaborate on what's going on in this particular part of the story I'd like to begin with, I will gladly do so!

    Thanks in advance,

    David :)
     
  2. Mr Mr
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    Mr Mr Active Member

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    Its your story so start it from wherever you like then go back or forwards. I wrote the end of a story first then worked backwards.
     
  3. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    You probably shouldn't worry too much about the start before the first draft is finished. When you got the whole thing in front of you, it's much easier to see what works and what doesn't. I've had several stories where I thought I had an awesome start, only to realize it doesn't work with the story when I got to the end. Even if you have a detailed plot outline, seeing the whole thing written down (even if it's a rushed first draft that needs a lot of work) gives you a completely different perspective on the story.
     
  4. DBTate
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    DBTate Senior Member

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    I understand it's my story to write as I like. I guess what I was hoping to gauge from people with experience in the matter was whether starting somewhere other than the 'beginning' would restrict how I wrote the rest of the story.

    For example, if in the middle of the novel I have my protagonist slaying a great number of his foes with only his sword, would I then not be compelled to explain how he became such a potent warrior in earlier chapters? (Hypothetical.)

    Thanks!
     
  5. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    It doesn't need to be done, if you cleverly drop clues about his past throughout the story. Actually, that would probably make the story more interesting as you have some sort of mystery you want to figure out. You might want to write it down for yourself, though. It gives you better insight into the character's mind, and the possibility of plot holes is smaller. I often write way further back than I actually need to in order to know the story better.
     
  6. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not necessarily. The story of how he became a warrior might not be as interesting as what he's doing later. You can mention his past in passing to the reader if you like. Or you can let it be a mystery.

    But I think the main point is that you can add eariler chapters if you feel you need them when the first draft is done.
     
  7. DBTate
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    DBTate Senior Member

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    That's a great idea! Perhaps it's a better to start before the beginning, than to skip it entirely.

    With the political undertones I'm hoping to achieve, I think that writing a brief (or detailed) history of my world and the people in it will work wonders for my actual story!

    By the way, don't let the idea of politics deter you from ever reading my story :p
     
  8. Daisy215
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    Daisy215 Member

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    It's your story and if you want to start in the middle, then you should!

    I know some people who start by writing the climax of the story, it helps them stay motivated to write the beginning and finish it.

    I personally start from the beginning to let my characters grow through the story, but you can do that by starting in the middle or at the end too.
     

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