1. Complex
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    Complex Senior Member

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    Where to begin?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Complex, Jul 1, 2012.

    Beginnings are something which plague me, I can never find suitable point to 'start' for my story which had led to the creation of some pretty outlandish circumstances. Finding a good beginning point is always ruined when I bring up something referred to or mentioned prior to the actual story point, and it has probably gone a bit too far. I've somehow managed to wind the clock back more then three thousand years to the dawning era itself... and managed to go back even further to before the creation of the world. Then I go back even further to the 'gods' themselves... and went even further back until the 'god's individual back stories' where they all came together to begin a specific process occurred. Then, through increasing demands on character and plot points, I've managed to go back even further to display their individual lives prior to that event.

    I'm off the deep-end with this and the worst thing is... its relevant to the actual plot I began with. Actually, instrumental. Thankfully most of it is still in outline stage (Barring almost two thousand years of political, art and intellectual fluff, only 500 years actually matter. I began at a zero point, outlined, then fleshed out the exact details of hundreds of years in the chronology. Now everything reads like Tolkien's timelines! Where in the world do I start? The beginning of all beginnings aka 'the origin point' or the 'sealing of the great evil' the 'awakening of the great evil'. Also popping around (because it actually goes that far) is 'dawn of time' and 'before the dawn of time'.

    I hate flashbacks, but in doing so I've actually made a monster of a problem. Let's not get into 'length' because that's another point, but I just don't know where to cut and begin, after all its 99% worldbuilding for me.
     
  2. Mark_Archibald
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    Mark_Archibald Active Member

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    That is certainly a strange problem to have. Most writers absolutely tear through the opening chapters of a manuscript than struggle with the middle game and even more with the end game.

    One word I will bring up is subtlety. Don't give the reader every single detail about everything. Keep some things mysterious and unknown about your characters so at the end of the book they want one more chapter, they have one more question they want answered.
     
  3. Shane Grayson
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    Shane Grayson Member

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    Sounds to me that is what you want to write about. So be it! Write about how the gods attained their philosophies on existence, or whatever suits your flavor of writing. If what you write turns into a monster, at least you have it written down and no real reason to go back to it. Also, a fun idea to play with, the Philosopher Nietzsche believed in something called "The Eternal Occurrence." If you get some time, check it out ;)
     
  4. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    where the mind is without fear...
    yes, I agree that you need not give all the details of the world you have created in the actual story. Don't get carried away by the awesomeness of your world. So, what to include and what to leave out? And where to begin? It all comes down to understanding the basics: whose story are you telling? Where does the main climax occur? In simple terms include every details relevent to the plot, and start as near to the climax as possible. If nothing works, just keep writing until you have a first draft which will give you the big picture. You can move the scenes and chapters around to see which alignment works the best.
     
  5. Complex
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    Complex Senior Member

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    Thanks for the replies. Mark Archibald, yeah it a problem in reverse because the middle to the end is already crafted, but finding a good point becomes harder and harder when the story comes up with important info. I have the 'forging of the ring' as my ideal beginning rather then the introduction of the main characters simply because the main characters are present and can't die. Its really weird when you introduce gods into the mix.

    Shane Grayson, I'll have to look it up. I got to make a library trip soon.

    Killbill, its not so much about the side details, I have plenty of side stuff that is present and visible in the work, yet never comes up specifically other then being a component in something else. Such as proper wood for housing, medicinal trees and plants, even staple foods and dishes of the land. Culture is exceedingly important as well, so the undying gods spend time not on flimsy matters of entertainment, but lasting monuments of civil importance. The problem is, I'm telling the story of the gods and their puppetry of a world which serves as their beloved garden. The gods themselves take highly active roles and fill actual tasks such as smiths, tailors, librarians, botanists and of course rulers.

    Some of the most important figures is a botanist who studies plants and manages to create a synthetic oil (no natural equivalent exists) which is instrumental in the plot. Warrior gods are few, simply because they can't kill the others and they can defeat mortal armies without any risk whatsoever. A god shows up on the battlefield and it immediately comes to an end, battles are pointless and war itself is a concept which the people do not understand.

    It is not a utopia either, but the problems I keep running into is the point to begin, since my characters are 3000+ years old and have huge life histories. They are not some teenager with a 10 year history and they can do almost anything they want. None of them are 'hermits' or 'sleeping gods', its probably like saying George Washington still leads the United States. Or Elizabeth I is still ruling all of England. Picking up mid-life is fine, but I feel that their established motives and goals are kinda fabricated and without good reason unless the reader sees why this botanist god does what he does, or this librarian god has such a desire to amass all knowledge. I guess I may have no choice but to just begin at a point and stick with it, I'm going further and further from the 'plot focus' as to be irrelevant to the main storyline.
     

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