1. essilyn
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    essilyn New Member

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    Where To Start

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by essilyn, Jun 7, 2009.

    So, I have this idea in my head, all planned out in random bits and pieces. The problem is I don't know where to start in organizing it all out and getting it down on paper. I want to make an outline and get at least major things figured out before I attempt to actually write the first draft. I literally gave myself a headache thinking so hard on where to start planning it all out though. I just lack muse right now, but I know when I start writing it all down it will start to flow out of me. Any help would be great; any outlines or starting points anyone uses would really help me. Thanks in advance.

    -essilyn
     
  2. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Essilyn,

    If you're giving yourself a headache, then you're making it harder than it actually is.

    If you have ideas in your head, use a word processor and begin jotting them all down. You can split them up into thinks like bits of dialogue, plot events, locations, characters etc. Or you can simply start listing them. It doesn't matter. Just get them out there and out of your head.

    Once you have that finished, you can begin to organize your ideas into an outline or whatever you want to use to assist you with your writing.

    You can, for example, organize your plot events from beginning to end (realizing that it is not written in stone and will likely change as you write). This will give you an idea where it is appropriate to begin your story.

    Then write. Sure, do some thinking and minor revision as you go, but don't fret and worry about making your first draft perfect. Maybe you'll decide that you need to start later in the storyline than you actually did. Maybe internal events will change slightly--for example, you'll need the murder to occur after the after the wedding reception but before the honeymoon departrure, instead of between the wedding pictures and the bride making it to the reception. Maybe the ending won't even be exactly what you planned, but that's okay.

    The trick is to simply organize yourself, have enough reserach done that you can get started. There are many who never actually start anything...they reserach and plan and plot, but never actually 'write'.

    Good luck.

    Terry
     
  3. starseed
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    starseed Contributing Member

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    If it were me I'd just start writing and go from there. You are going to make TONS of changes and revisions later. I made outlines in the beginning that are laughable compared to the story I have going now. Everything will change, just start creating!
     
  4. sunkistroses401
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    sunkistroses401 Member

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    I think an outline is a great way to start before I write stories I have to do this more so I can get my thoughts straight. so i would start there.
     
  5. Irish87
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    Irish87 Contributing Member

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    I actually think TWErvin2 has a great point: organization is key.

    Personally, when I know that I'll be delving into a fairly long story which absolutely requires not just the tedious amounts of boring information (What's John's favorite slice of pizza?!) but also the seemingly worthless yet eventually priceless questions you don't pay much attention to (Why does John have a fourth arm? Sure, the third isn't bad, but why four?!) I tend to write what I like to call an index or a bible. Make sections for each topic, such as characters or major plot points, and begin outlining and mapping everything out. If nothing else it's a great reference.

    Now, you should also take into account the idea of being spontaneous. Sometimes you just have to start writing and, if it works out, continue until you feel the need to go back and begin taking specific notes and revising your story. One of the people in the novel I'm writing is from South America, but I never really said where until I hit chapter nine and poof, I suddenly realized I needed a place. Yeah, I should have known that beforehand, but it didn't ruin the story.

    As for the story and all the major points in it, I have a tendency to be fairly lazy. I hate mapping out each chapter and predicting every single move the characters will make from stabbing their best friend in the ear to eating a bologna sandwich. So instead of following a tightly monitored and secure little order of chapters, I just remember the major plot points and make it up as I go along. You just have to remember what your story is about and the important things which come with it.

    Good luck.
     
  6. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Buy yourself some index cards and jot down each scene/character/idea you have on one, then add notes to them, arrange them in some order and refer to them as you begin to write.

    Organisation is important to some writers, especially if what you're planning to write is a novel, but you shouldn't feel that you need to do it if you don't think it will be useful to you. No one else will ever see what you do in the planning stage, so don't feel you need to conform to something that you don't necessarily find useful - just find a way that helps you get what's in your head onto the page.
     
  7. psyence53
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    psyence53 Senior Member

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    Wow, this is actually helped my problem too :) Well i hope so. That's excellent advice about not worrying about the first draft, and finding another way to begin during the process. Thanks for the indirect help xD
     
  8. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    I like this method of outlining, if I were to outline a story:

    Snowflake method

    It is simple to follow and can help some people who need to do more organizing. I haven't really tried using it yet, but I do keep it in mind when I am writing.
     

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