1. ScarletLarn
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    ScarletLarn Member

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    What do you find to be THE MOST IMPORTANT thing for YOUR stories?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by ScarletLarn, Mar 16, 2012.

    I just want to know what people believe to be the MOST IMPORTANT aspects and details that YOU add to your writing. OR what you find REALLY important when it comes to writing in general. My personal belief in writing is that when you are trying to tell a story (no matter if its fiction, no-fiction, a poem, a song ect.) you have to make the reader believe it could happen! Even for a split second!!! SUCK THEM IN! No matter how ridiculous! Using emotions, personalities, themes ect. that people easily relate to or can feel empathy/sympathy toward.
    Telling a story is something I find really important and close to my heart as would it to so many of you lovely people on this site! Lets talk about it!
    - Love from Scarlet C:
     
  2. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    The most important thing for me is keeping sufficient focus: of POV, readership (not assuming knowledge or interests of readers and remembering expectations for genre), clarity of plot, goals of characters, etc. Telling the story is the simple bit.
     
  3. doghouse
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    I don't think there is any one important 'thing'.

    Writing to tell a story is a craft, an art in itself.

    What motivates you to write and what goal you have for writing are important.

    For me, I'd like to think I can engage the reader, get them to care and invest themselves emotionally. I think that would require plot, character (action/reaction), conflict, drama, thematics.

    Importantly, don't tell your story.
     
  4. ScarletLarn
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    ScarletLarn Member

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    AHHHH I swear I already sent a reply... It was a lot longer than this!

    Yes I agree with all of that. I guess that belief of mine is more of a set goal!
     
  5. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    For me writing is about having fun, both on my part and the reader's part.

    My goal is rollercoaster stories, not bad writing and an entertained reader.
     
  6. ScarletLarn
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    ScarletLarn Member

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    Very nice C:
    I like it!
     
  7. Metus
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    Metus Senior Member

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    In my opinion, the most important part of a story is the character interaction and building that takes place during the main plot. And not just between the protagonist and supporting characters, but between the various supporting characters, the protagonist and antagonist, supporting characters and antagonist, the antagonist and his or her allies, etc- the entire tangled web.

    Character interaction is a bit of a catch-all category, though. It encompasses dialogue, rivalry, romance, friendship, moral issues, happy high-points, and depressing low-points in the lives of various characters. Good characters can make you love even a bad plot, but bad characters can leave a good plot dry and sour.
     
  8. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with that. I spend more time dealing with my characters than anything else. I've read books that have left me disappointed (or maybe just dissatisfied) simply because they had so much potential, but I didn't really care about the people in it. I wanted more from them. They were 'good' books, but they weren't 'great' books.
     
  9. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Characters. I need believable characters who do believable things. It doesn't matter how extreme the fantasy is, so long as I can relate to the characters, understand why they're doing what they're doing, and believe that characters like them would do those things in those situations.

    I am immediately pulled out of a story if I don't believe the characters. If they're doing ridiculous things, I just want to throw the book across the room, or just shut off the movie. This is why I disliked Ender's Game. It's why I disliked JJ Abrams' reboot of Star Trek. The characters just weren't believable. They were merely contrivances manipulated by the writers to make the plots turn out the way they did.
     
  10. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I read a book a few months ago that was like that, and it was by an author I usually enjoy. I wasn't enthralled with the characters to begin with, but I read on, thinking I would grow to like them, at least a little. But then, for some unknown reason, the author started a romance between the two MCs. Okay, it made them a little more real - but they seemed to have sex waaay too early, and at the most ridiculous times (like in the middle of searching for a missing child). So not only didn't the author make me like/sympathize/enjoy the characters, she had them doing things that made absolutely no sense at all. I ended up skimming over almost every other chapter in order to get to the thriller parts, and in the end, it made my 'fanship' of this author falter greatly. I have serious reservations about purchasing any of her other books.

    So the crime was a compelling plot - but the characters turned me against not only the book, but the author.
     
  11. superpsycho
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    superpsycho Contributing Member

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    Whatever part of the process I'm working on at the time. To come up with something worth telling. Finding a place to start. Trying to write the story so the reader wants to keep reading. Then coming up with an ending that leaves the reader satisfied and glad he read it.
     
  12. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Me too - the only part I find stressful is the synopsis. I can write other people's and love that but my own never works right.
     
  13. superpsycho
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    superpsycho Contributing Member

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    I think of it like being snow blind. You get so close to it you no longer see what's on the page but in your head. At that point I have to put it away and do something else, then come back much latter to get a fresh perspective.
     
  14. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I got someone else to help me write it in the end - it took longer than the novel to write lol Now I have to rewrite it because Angry Robot's YA imprint are having an Open Doors and theirs follows a different pattern to anyone else's.

    Even with six months distance I didn't get it quite right.
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The most important aspects are those which you currently are struggling the most with.

    I agree with doghouse that there is no one most important aspect. Poor spelling or grammar will spoil any story, but so will flat characters, long-winded narrative, and any number of other flaws.
     
  16. april30ara
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    april30ara Member

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    It's the characters for me. They have to be believable. Once I get characters in order the story will follow.
     
  17. Rumwriter
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    being able to recognize what isn't necessary. Cutting out everything extra that doesn't add anything to the story. Why did I make the character sit down before standing up? Cut it. Why did I make her look for her socks in every room of the house before going out? Cut it.

    Unless these things are crucial to defining your character or plot, as in your character has OCD and always sits own before standing up, or your character has a pair of lucky socks she can't live without and it's the day of the big ball game.
     
  18. darkbeetlebot
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    I think it's the storyline. making sure there aren't any plot holes, no unnecessary cliches, make ties wherever they need to go, etc. that kind of stuff is what I consider important.
    details are also important, thinks should be described thoroughly to give a clear picture.
     
  19. Nakhti
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    Nakhti Banned

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    The most important thing is the thing you struggle to get right - with me it's pace. I can write pages and pages of character interaction that makes people really respond to my characters, but when it comes to action and pace I get sidetracked by details and lose story momentum. I think pace is very important to keep readers attention engaged and make them turn the page.
     
  20. Whirlwind
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    Story Structure - without it you are much more likely to end up one of those people who finds a half-finished manuscript under their bed ten years later . See the links in my signature.
     
  21. louis1
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    I want people to witness the insanity that all of us have within our selves.
    I want people to realize that they personally are fucking insane.
    I'm writing a 5 book series that explore the insanity of people, from a single man lost in the desert to a whole society lead by a religious maniac.
    To me, that is important.
     
  22. WrittingfanticXD
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    WrittingfanticXD New Member

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    A good plot and the connection or history between the story characters for me because without those things it wouldnt really be a story if it was it would be boring. a long history between the characters will put more suspense and sadness if something would happen to one of them....
     
  23. Jonathan Pushkin
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    Weighing the plot with the characters, making sure there is a good relationship between the both. Consistency is important, remembering the flow to prevent any cliches or plot holes.

    Most importantly to me, raw realness mixed in with delusion or fantasy to give it a unique element to it (or at least try to).

    A story that is a little controversial and questions things, and has people wondering. Nothing to fantasaic or too serious.

    Humour, no matter what kind of novel. If it is a serious one, then the humour could be satirical, black or sardonic, I guess.

    Characters must not be 2d, and the plot must have a good pace so readers dont get bored or rushed. Realism as far as to not patronize your reader or end up pretentious. And also a prose which is sophisticated yet clear, readable and highly discriptive without going into information overload [which I do sometimes and thus edit a lot].

    I'm sure there's more.
     
  24. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Plot (more accurately, storyline, the way most people use the word "plot") is over-emphasized. You do need some sort of progression to the story, but a WOW! story concept is one of the least important elements to a good story. A good writer's voice and interesting characters can easily carry a story that is based on a relatively mundane concept.
     

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