1. Daphnes
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    Daphnes Member

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    Trouble getting started.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Daphnes, Mar 31, 2008.

    I have always had trouble deciding what to start on. What kind of story do I want to write? I like stories about aliens, or people with powers like the X-Men. I've always thought I'd like to write something that's centered around action, but also has some humor and a bit of romance thrown in.

    The thing is, with the stories I make in my mind it always starts with some other book (like Animorphs), or a TV show (like Naruto or Buffy the Vampire Slayer). I sometimes also like to imagine medieval setting with knights and castles and such.

    Maybe what I need is a co-writer. There was another thread asking for a co-writer, but I don't know if I should post in that one. If I can get someone to start a kind of story I'd enjoy, then I can do brainstorming while the co writer works on the finer details.

    If anyone wants to help, I'd appreciate it. We can discuss in this thread, Pms, or IM.
     
  2. -NM-
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    -NM- Active Member

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    Just a piece of advice:

    You say you make up stories in your mind, but they involve lots of action, so i would assume you think there isn't enough to fill it out into a full book? Well have you tried writing some short stories? They are good practice and it gives you the opportunity to put down some of those ideas onto paper.

    I would suggest trying that before you start looking for a "Co-Writer" ;-)
     
  3. Daphnes
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    Daphnes Member

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    Do a short story? That might work. How many pages is a typical short story? I know that individual books of the Animorphs series were around 150 pages long.
     
  4. Master Hand
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    Master Hand New Member

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    Well, I'd be glad to help, but I think you should try envisioning something similar to things in pop culture you like and twisting it enough so it's your own creation. I did that to come up with the concept of my own novel, Exovarcéôs. Pop culture thingy + a unique concept + different names sometimes equals sometimes original enough to call your own. This method is risky, though, but if you can only think of unoriginal ideas, try twisting other works enough to make them your own. If you still think a co-author is a good idea, though, I can probably fill the post.

    A short story is usually three or four pages, I think. A hundred twenty-five pages makes a novel. Or something like that.
     
  5. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    Short Stories tend to range from 1,000 to 20,000 words (The exact number various according to who you ask but that is about standard). Thats abot 4 to 80 pages if you want a really long short story (Like The Old Man and the Sea).
     
  6. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Daphnes,

    It's possible I'm misunderstanding what you finally decided upon in your original post. But, what is the point of a co-writer working with another writer when the recuried co-writer, comes up with the idea, lets the other writer give him ideas and feedback, and then the co-writer writes the work (completes the finder details). What's in it for the recruited co-writer? I guess after the details are worked out, then writing as a team?

    Good story ideas are out there in vast numbers. Most writers have more ideas for stories and novels than they can possibly write. Dreaming ideas is fun and interesting and easy. Organizing, writing, revising, editing, revising, submitting...while it can be fun and interesting and challenging...is the work. And in the end, writing is work. Work is not a bad or negative word (concept)...people can love their work and look forward to it every day--and many do.

    Co-writing and co-authoring can work for some folks, if they're a good team, complimenting each other. But in general, it has to be an equal arrangement. It takes more dedication and self-discipline to work as a member of a team than as an individual writer, as the potential for conflict, letting the partner down, and hurt feelings is often great. Just like best friends can be best friends forever, but end up hating each other upon becoming roommates, so can it happen with writing teams.

    Just another opinion to add to the mix.

    Terry
     
  7. Daphnes
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    Daphnes Member

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    I'll try writing a story on my own first it will just be one story, and won't be a series. Maybe after writing some successful independent stories, I'll move on to a series. I always liked reading series more than just individual books, which is why I wanted to be a series writer.
     
  8. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    I often use short stories as a spring board for larger stories that often become novels. I find it a good way to get your act together before starting the long haul.
     
  9. nicthechick
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    nicthechick New Member

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    I didn't know that Lord, I have written a story and it's about 5,000 words in length and although I thought it was a short story, the norm does tend to be 2000 etc. 20,000 words I could see being placed in a magazine as a serial but 5k?
     
  10. Daphnes
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    Daphnes Member

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    I'm sorry if I missed your post when I made my last post. I didn't mean to say that I'd was my co-worker to do all the grunt work. I just meant that I'd come up with an idea, then the hopefully more experienced co-worker would try to piece together how it would work in a smooth and interesting way. Then once we come up with a mutual agreement, we'd each write down different pages. Like he'd write down page one, then I'd write page two, or maybe I'd write down chapter one, and he'd write chapter two.

    Does that make more sense?

    But anyway, I think I'll just do a little something on my own. I'll put it up for review once I have it done.
     
  11. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    A short story is sort of a novel thats been stripped down to its raw ingrediants, or conversely, a novel is just a short story thats been blouted and expanded with sub-plots and enhanced character developments and story arcs. Its short, precise, and often can be read in a single sitting. The most common max number I see in actual practice is 7,500 words, but by definition, a short story can be said to be anything less than 20,00 words. Of course its very rare to see a short story that long. A short story that can be written out to 20,000 words can often be easily expanded into a full novel work.
     
  12. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Generally short stories differ from novels in structure, scope and usually pacing.

    There are different categories of short fiction, from micro and flash fiction, up to short stories, novelettes and novellas. The exact word count range for each would depend on which source one quotes, which market is speaking, or each author's experience.

    The reason 5000 words is often used for a short story is that that word count is frequently the upper limit many markets will accept. It seems that online markets usually prefer shorter works than print markets.

    Terry
     
  13. Vayda
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    Vayda Senior Member

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    You mentioned Buffy, and as that's what I'm most familiar with, it's what I'll use as an example :)

    Maybe you could consider writing another story, but set in the same universe (I believe in this case, it's called the Buffyverse.) I mean, what was going on with Angel's family after he became Angelus? Buffy is not the first slayer - how about writing about one of the previous? I don't think you should worry too much about copyright infringement, because as long as you're writing for only yourself, then you won't get in trouble.

    Since you like this sort of thing, read a little about the World Of Darkness universe. A publishing company called White Wolf has created this roleplaying system (it's a pen-and-paper RPG, similar to dungeons and dragons) that's set in the modern world, but containing all kinds of supernatural things - specifically, Vampires, Mages (wizards), Werewolves, Promethians (Frankensteins), and Changlings (Fairy-touched people), and of course mortal humans. It seems like the type of stuff you would like.
     
  14. Daphnes
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    Daphnes Member

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    Thanks. I actually made up a good bit of stopry about what would happen if the Animorphs decided to take back the Hork Bajir homeworld instead of just having them live in Yellowstone Park like what happened in the ending. I probably remember enough about the Animorph characters to do them justice in an Animorphs sequel. I may be able to pull it off, but that would be a bigger project than just writing a short story.

    Now I'm back to having a hard time deciding what to write. Multiple possibilities, but I can't write them all at once. I think I will try the Animorphs sequel. Like you say, I won't have to worry about copywrite infiringment unless I try to sell it somewhere.

    EDIT: I decided to go with my Animorphs sequel. I just finished writing the prologue, which explained some key elements about the series I feel is important to know before understanding the sequel. It's over 6700 characters long. I know this because I wrote it as a PM to myself before submitting it publicly. Turns out, you can't send a message that's over 5000 characters long. So I cut it in half and sent two messages.

    I'm thinking of putting that up for review, but I wanted to mention it before I go ahead and do it. Should I set that up for review, and post chaoters as I complete them? Or should I do something else?
     
  15. Vayda
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    Vayda Senior Member

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    I don't know a whole lot about Animorphs, but I did watch the Nickelodeon adaptation of the books when I was little :D

    Anyway, you might hit up google and see if there is any sort of animorph fanfiction community (that's what it's called, what you're doing). There's tons of Harry Potter fanfics out there, and plenty of other series' have gallons of fanfiction written about them, so animorphs might be among them.
     
  16. Daphnes
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    Daphnes Member

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    Well, after I get done with this I'll move on to other stuff. This is just what I decided to start with because I've actually thought up a large part of the storyline in my head over the past years.

    And I hated the Nick show. It was horrible, and they messed up with the Tobias character.
     
  17. JMStone
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    haha would it be very unhelpful for me to say that I enjoy reading romance/suspense novels but love writing YA fantasy?

    I could just be weird. It wouldn't be the first time I've thought that about myself, haha.

    And I used to love the Animorphs series. a lot - almost as an obsession =\

    ---

    as for co-writing, I'm working with my co-author on our novel, Kindled. For us, it works fantastically because the story centers around two sisters. The chapters switch... identities I guess you could call it. one or two chapters will be from one sister's POV while other's will be from the other's POV. we each write for a character and when read you get two distinct characters. however our writing is similar enough that it doesn't make the story choppy. we work the plot out together and make no decisions without consulting the other first. in addition, once one of our chapter's is finished, the other goes through and adds or deletes things to make it better.

    If you can find a co-author that you can work cooperatively with, I would say go for it because my own experience has been positive thus far. Just make sure the work is split equally between you, you work together and you both receive credit!

    --

    writing short stories is actually really fun. I actually use them to work on character development for our novel and found it to work wonders. I used the same character for each short story I worked on and found she developed more and more as I used her. -shrug-


    good luck starting though and be sure to post here so we can take a look =D
     

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