1. ms627
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    ms627 Member

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    Where to Start?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by ms627, Feb 26, 2013.

    Where do you start with a novel or short story? Are you particularly organized, or do you spew ideas on a paper? Do you just write, or do some planning? And what comes first, the setting, conflict, characters?

    Curiosity!

    I'm a spewer, myself.
     
  2. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    I try not to storyboard or plan unless I have written sections of the story. From there, I learn to build on my characters and my story.

    Some people can jump into it and write a novel from the top of their head. Some have to write the ending before they focus ob the beginning.

    I do some planning where when storyboarding I write bullet points to how I want each chapter to move to the next. I do not use it as a definite guide, but it does allow me to write A to B and B to C and so on. Many times I end up diverting the story into a different direction.

    I find the setting comes first and then the basic character explanation. As I continue writing, the character develops on it's own.

    It is hard to say because often times these things change. Many writers have told me "Just write"
     
  3. iolair
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    iolair Active Member

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    I have an idea - in probably not much detail - for where I want the story to go. I definitely don't storyboard.

    Then I plan (and research where needed) loads of detail about the characters and their issues and motivations, and the setting they're in. I 'drop' the characters into the settings and think about how these people would react given their problems, motivations and the environment they find themselves in. Then I can pretty much follow them from there and see what they do.

    I'm probably exaggerating how much I follow this approach - I do have a fair idea of the final destination of the book and steer it there, but mostly I just create the situation and write the consistent outcome of that situation as I see it. Sometimes my characters surprise me! I just had to extensively rewrite a scene when I suddenly realised 'Well, there's no way X would allow Y to be left behind there."
     
  4. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    i start with a drama - usually someone dies in the oh so happy stuff i write, then just fill page after page. I have about 45,000 words in this project, almost half way but my end is done 9sort of, ish) so at least I know where I'm going.

    I don't suppose there's a one cap fits all here - whatever does it for you does it for you!
     
  5. Phoenix Hikari
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    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

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    I don't normally plan short stories but when it comes to a novel then yes, I do a lot of planning and researching. Research is important if the story is huge and has many openings or needs basis in reality.
    My current novel I started it with a conflict and many mysteries dropped on the Protagonist. He's now trying to clear the mess and understand what's going on. As much as this might not work for you there's only one rule that all need to follow: Don't start your story/novel with dull explanations and descriptions. Start with a problem, conflict, issue, crisis and anything that draws the reader in. So many books are left unread simply because the opening wasn't grabbing enough, despite them having great plot and characters.
     
  6. niallohagan
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    niallohagan Member

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    I just start to write which is okay fro a short story but hasnt worked out so well for a novel as yet. Obviously I have an idea first though
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There is a stickied thread in this forum, What's Your Writing Process?
     
  8. rodney adams
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    rodney adams Member

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    I'm new to writing as a hobby, but I find that I do very little planning when I have an idea. A scene just pops into my head, and I discover who the character is, and why they're there. I then brainstorm a little after writing the first scene and go into world building, and further character background. I've only written a couple of short stories, but that's how I do it. No idea if it would work on the scale of a novel.
     

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