1. Marianne
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    Marianne New Member

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    Totally stuck...

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Marianne, Aug 11, 2015.

    Hi everyone.

    Okay, so I've been trying to write the same story for a very long time. I had a dream one night and I woke up the next day thinking, I want to write that. So I sat down and instantly became stuck. I have no character, I have no plotline, I just have this one "scene". I persevered and tried many times to make it work but no matter how hard I tried, without having that character and the plot that got this character to this point, I didn't feel like it was working.

    Where do I go from here? I've tried building a character but because it was a random dream, there was nothing leading up to it, the lead in the dream was me. Do I just write it from my own perspective? Is there even a point in just writing one solo "scene" without a story around it? I know these are questions I should be able to answer myself but I just feel a bit lost. I've never really written anything since I left school (quite a while ago) apart from failed attempts at various things.

    - Marianne x
     
  2. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Some people can write 'off the cuff,' while others need a great deal of structure. Maybe your problem is you need to sit down and write out character sheets with as many details as possible for your characters then write out a time line of events. With a time line you can easily add details to your one scene but also have a direction for where your story came from and where it is going.
     
  3. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    What I'd do in this situation is put in bullet points what happened in this scene, regardless of how any of it got there to begin with or what happens after.

    Next, I'd look at each character within that scene. How are they related to each other? Are they friends? Family? Acquantices? What are they talking about? Can you remember what the specifics were, or at least the general idea? How they were holding themselves and talking? Did they have names? If not, make some up for them.

    Then, I'd build up on what they were talking about. Maybe it's something in what they say that got you inspired, so make a plot about that. The people in this dream are more than likely the main characters, so stick with that.
     
  4. dreamersky1212
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    dreamersky1212 Active Member

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    Is it the first line fright thing? Like you can't get out the first line and just get stuck staring at the blinking cursor. Or is it that you don't know exactly what to write. I would try writing aspects instead of the full scene just yet like:

    the room is large and painted blue
    there is an elderly woman sitting on the couch
    she is telling a story the young boy sitting on the floor.

    Then start asking questions like

    What is the woman's name?
    how does she know the boy?
    what story is she telling?

    When you get a better idea of the specifics, it is easier to find your voice and then your starting point. You need to know who is telling the reader about this scene. Is it one of the characters or an all knowing narrator? Once you know who is talking and a general idea of what they plan to say...the real writing begins.

    Oh, and there is no rule about what you can or should write. If you want to write a single scene, then go right ahead. If you feel like the scene could eventually be part of something bigger, that's great. But it can stand on its own too.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2015
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  5. aguywhotypes
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    aguywhotypes Active Member

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    That is a wonderful way to write. Thank you so much for sharing that information.
     
  6. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    It's been a long time since I took Psych 1, but if memory serves, a dream only lasts a few seconds. Not much of a foundation for a story. Moreover, we generally only remember fragments of our dreams, if at all. Even less of a foundation.

    My advice is to forget the dream - it's not helping at this point. Think about the kind of story you would want to read. Then go write it.
     
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  7. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I dunno, Shelley wrote Frankenstein after a nightmare she had. It's possible. But yeah, a dream that vague would be difficult to make into a story.
     
  8. Jason Newton
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    Jason Newton New Member

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    I would forget the dream. Observe what is happening around you.
     
  9. Drummy49
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    Drummy49 New Member

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    All good advice, I won't add to it by going into a lot specifics. Just remember that there is no wrong way to write!

    Don't think you need to know where you are going with your writing, who the characters are, what's happening... all that comes later when you piece it together. Right now just focus on letting the words stream out of you and onto the page. If it helps to get your wheels going, even just describe the dream to yourself. How did it feel? Were you afraid, happy, confused? Was it realistic, or was it abstract?

    Go through the dream to yourself:
    That dream was so exciting, it made my heart race! First I was in an old, ancient temple in the middle of a Jungle. I was looking for something. Suddenly I was attacked by a tribe of wild natives. I was so afraid, I ran for my life and dove into the river. The whole time I knew my brother was out there somewhere and I had to rescue him. Etc, etc.

    A lot like what dreamersky1212 suggested.

    The important thing is write whatever comes out of you! Find a way to put the dream on the page. Good Luck!
     
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  10. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I used to be a gamemaster for Call of Cthulhu roleplaying group. I wrote a multi-location campaign based on a single scene and the emotions of the one person in the scene, that popped into my mind.

    But the scene didn't save me any of the work, it just provided some emotional drive to keep me at it. There were still many hours of walking around my local park, probably looking slightly unbalanced as I talked to myself and ticked off plot points on my fingers.

    And in the end, the scene didn't appear in the campaign.
     
  11. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    What? I love Call of Cthulhu. Mostly ran games set in the 1920s, but I did one using CoC rules that was a modern day zombie apocalypse (ran as a Halloween event) and everyone had to play themselves. Whatever skills you had in real life, that's what you had as a character. We set it in the town where we all lived. It was fun, and unlike many CoC campaigns, people lived.
     

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