1. vicizmax
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    vicizmax New Member

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    Urge to write, but no plot?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by vicizmax, Jul 8, 2011.

    I really have an urge to write, I love it, and I want to write a short story or a novel, or just something.

    However I'm having trouble thinking of a plot. I have different scenarios and ideas in my head, however they are so short and completely different from each other that I really don't see a way in connecting them. Yet I have trouble expanding each idea too.

    I'm not even sure what genre/topic I want to write - fantasy, or something more down to earth? Base it on personal experience or something completely from my imagination?

    I guess I sort of have writers block, but I know that as soon as I have a start, I can continue. I know from experience. I've always found it hard to just find a plot myself. However if you tell me just a few things that I have to include in my story, I can easily develop it from that.

    Yet again, I don't know what those starter things should be, and I know I will be free writing most of my story, yet I don't even have a slight story line.

    How do you develop plots, or choose what genre/topic you will be writing on? Is the plot the most difficult part of story writing for you too, or are there other things that challenge you, which you only find later?
    I'm sure I'm not the only one with this problem, so I hope there is some advice to a beginner writer out there :)
     
  2. Lord Malum
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    Lord Malum Senior Member

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    I had this very problem after learning all the rules to writing. Before, I just wrote to write and enjoy myself. It took some effort to let go of what I had learned without forgeting it and just sit down to enjoy writing again. So that's what I suggest to you. Learn all you can about the craft, then detatch yourself from it. Ideas come and all you have to do is write. After the story is out, the real work must start. This is where all you've learned really impacts your story. Writers really aren't all about writing. They're focused on rewriting and editing during most of the process.

    Snag one of those ideas and get to know it like a sister then sit down and write. Or do as I do and write to find out about the idea. Do what comes natural and is most comfortable. Sitting around worrrying about not having a plot isn't going to develop the plot. Get to writing.
     
  3. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    What I usually do if I don't have a plot, story or anything, I just write. I write the start of a random scene and take it from there. Maybe it turns into something, maybe it doesn't. But at least I will have the idea written down and can use it in other stories later. :)
     
  4. Batgoat
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    Batgoat Senior Member

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    Write your ideas as flash fiction. Just get them down on paper to begin with. Some of them will become connected later on. Others, you can revisit and add flesh to.

    The important thing is to capture the essence of what the ideas were, so as not to lose them.
     
  5. vicizmax
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    vicizmax New Member

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    I have written everything down! I always do that.. That's my problem, I can write down my ideas until my idea has "run out" and there I am, with six different ideas on paper and no way to connect them :/ I realize I probably wont be able to use them all in one story, however I can't even develop at least one idea into something more.. :S
     
  6. Batgoat
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    Batgoat Senior Member

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    Then file the ideas and let them stew.

    The ideas themselves may not be a "story" as such, so long as they're recorded and you can blow the dust off them for future use.
     
  7. vicizmax
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    vicizmax New Member

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    Oh alright, so sort of keep a journal of ideas like you would with, say, character descriptions/personalities? Something to look back on should a plot idea come to mind in future? Didn't think about that... Thanks! :)
     
  8. Shadz91
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    Shadz91 New Member

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    Quick Question, Why do you have to join all the ideas?

    Me, personally I just write down my ideas. I'll then take a step back and see which one's have the most promise ( or rather which one's appeal to me the most) and I run with those. Sometimes I might end just throwing ideas away but most I usually file away somewhere to be forgotten until I need it :p
     
  9. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just start writing. Start with describing something and then see where it takes you. That or just find a writing prompt and let loose.

    But I recommend never letting that urge fizzle out. Recently everytime I get that urge to start writing I wait to long and then lose that desire. It's annoying.
     
  10. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Keep noting down your ideas. I'd not think of it in terms of having to 'connect' them all though.

    Is there not one idea you've had where you feel you can just take it & run with it? Don't plan any more, just try writing - even if it ends up being short, it's always good practice and often you get more ideas once you actually start something.

    As for genre, I write what I myself like to read. I was influenced by many writers so my 'style', as it were, is a combination of all those influences. Plus often I'm inspired by people & things around me.

    Good luck.
     
  11. NSR
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    NSR New Member

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    If you're not sure what you want to write, you could always start by writing down 5 words or phrases and try connecting them.

    This is something I tried out in one of my lectures at Uni and it works surprisingly well, I had my doubts when the woman was talking about it because it's all very well having to connect these 5 phrases, but making a story-line out of it is a whole different kettle of fish. We were given phrases like "my difference was very different indeed" and words like "top-hat". It's just took give a spark to ignite the fire really, even if you don't use the piece you wrote initially with the 5 words or phrases, it might give you the inspiration to start writing a short-story or novel or whatever really :)

    I, like you have problems in developing my plot, I know roughly where I want my story to go, but no idea how to get it there, where to add twists etc, etc.
    One thing that has been suggested by a lecturer is to write down numbers 1 - 15 (or any band of numbers you want, it's your story) and use these for chapters to plan what will happen from chapter-to-chapter, this doesn't really help me, but it may help you?
     
  12. animefans12
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    animefans12 Member

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    I also have the same problem as you do. I always have the urge to write something, but I can't think of a good plot to write about. What I do is write down all of the ideas/plots I have and choose the one plot that I want to write about. Then I start from there with my story. ^^
     
  13. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    Check out Mallory's tips, they are in the very same section and she adresses this rather well.

    Try to connect the scenes with characters first, then have an arbitrary transition of sorts, and develop it from there.
     
  14. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I read an interview with the novelist E.L. Doctorow once, in which he said he had the same problem. He was staring at a blank sheet of paper and had nothing to write – no story, no plot, no characters, just a need to write. He stared for a long time, then stared at the wall of the room he was in, and started just writing about the wall. Then about the house it was part of. And the house was built in 1906, so he started writing about 1906 and how people in that town lived in that time, wearing white clothes in the summer to beat the heat, and so on, and out of all this came his novel Ragtime, which was a bestseller, won many awards, was made into a movie, and is included in the Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels of the Twentieth Century.

    Great things can come from nothing, so long as you WRITE!
     
  15. Flashfire07
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    Flashfire07 Active Member

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    My advice would be to write up some characters you want to write about, they can be based off of people you see on tv or whatever, then write down some scenes you want your characters to be involved in, once that's done you could see which of your ideas suit the characters, or tinker with the characters till they suit your ideas. That's how I get started with some of my plots, I write up a scene and a few characters and then start from there.
     
  16. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Now, if that doesn't serve as an inspiration I don't know what would!!! :)
    amazing! everything around us can be turned into a novel as long as we are susceptible to it. I just got a story-idea the other day from something my collegue told me a couple of weeks ago, basically it was something from her own life and suddenly I realized its potential.
     
  17. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    What is the source of that urge? Obbviously, in this case, it isn't a story within you demanding to be let out. Is it an urge for creation, like the urge to produce offspring who will carry on a record of your having passed through this existence?

    Analyze that urge, and write about that. See where it takes you. Even if you don't get your story out of it, you will gain a better understanding of yourself, and that can only help.
     
  18. julian95
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    julian95 New Member

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    There are many solutions to this:
    • Free writing
    • Researching
    • Keeping a diary
    • Word Cloud
    • Brainstorming

    After you have done one/all of these, try copy-pasting them all up. It's quite hard to make a decent flow sometimes but it will get easier through repetition.
     
  19. Heidi
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    Heidi New Member

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    I find that when I create a scenario and a couple of characters in a conflict, the story starts to write itself. I just create a skeleton cast of characters and discover who they are as they talk and act. Then the story forms itself. The writing that I do may never actually show up in the story, but I don't think it's wasted. I consider it creating backstory and only I need to know all those details. It's like my own little secret.
     
  20. Solar
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    Solar Contributing Member Contributor

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    Forget about the urge to write, and come at it from a sideways stance, you know, indirectly.
     
  21. Mr Mr
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    Mr Mr Active Member

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    I find im the reverse I cant stop thinking of plots :\

    Just write about anything even a dream and see where it goes.
     
  22. CosmicHallux
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    CosmicHallux Senior Member

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    I just bought a book called The Secret Miracle, where a panel asks lots of published novelists questions, and each novelist gives a fairly short answer (within three paragraphs). Many of them do not use very detailed outlines for their novels, and they go off outline even when they do use them.

    My experience as a visual artist taught me that creativity is very tied to inspiration. What I mean is that I used to look through my X-Men comics and find a particularly great picture to re-draw. This is how I learned to draw. Musicians do similar things--they learn how to play other people's music before they create their own. I think authors do this as well, by writing about anything they've experienced--their thoughts, opinions, or memories.

    I've gotten the urge to write while watching a movie. Since I was by myself I just paused it and wrote my own version of a particularly moving scene. It satisfied my urge to write without requiring me to outline some complete story. I consider it like making sketches for a larger work of art--of course I would never try to publish or claim a re-writing of a movie scene. It is just practice.

    Visual artists don't make sure every single bit of work they do must directly contribute to some complete work (with full outline)--many sketches are preliminary or just for practice. I agree with the advice to just write about anything. Maybe you should pay attention to when you get the urge to write--maybe there is some inspiration that you are missing in those moments.
     
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  23. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    If I get an idea, I just write before it's gone. Then after I've finished it, I can go about constructing it or use it in a different story.
     
  24. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    I used to have trouble writing the bulk of a story - even if I knew the general idea, the beginning and the ending of it, coming up with all the details was hard. It became easier once I got the hang of characterisation and descriptions. When I let my characters do what comes naturally to them, they fill the story with content for me. And using descriptions to fill the story with things like atmosphere and foreshadowing also lets me know what to write.
     
  25. Sang Hee
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    Sang Hee Contributing Member

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    You are only a writer if you have something to write in the first place. If nothing comes you need an inspiration. As for the choice of a genre you gotta pick the one that excites you the most.
     

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