1. Alex Feige

    Alex Feige New Member

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    How should I begin my writing process?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Alex Feige, Nov 2, 2019.

    Hello!

    I'm going to start off by saying that I want to learn to write. Storytelling is very intriguing to me, but I find it very difficult to put together story ideas. I never know where to go after detailing specific character arcs and/or plot points.

    Could someone kindly share their writing & thought process with me?

    :)
     
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  2. Rockatansky

    Rockatansky Member

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    It's kind of hard to say,

    I would say, write a full concept and synopsis what you want for your story .

    Then, do like a little web diagram with the story in the middle, and then just randomly place the bits you want in the story around the paper just anywhere. Then start numbering and drawing lines to each other of what's related. Then your order should come to you, give you a bit of an idea

    And of course, just Write!
     
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  3. cosmic lights

    cosmic lights Senior Member

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    Everyone's process is different and to complicate matters it can be different for different novels.

    My typical process is to get an idea. There is no secret to this. And idea will come or not and I get them mostly through just living life, watching things and reading.
    Once I get the idea and sometimes it can be very vague - I begin doing research around the idea. Research, reading/watching similar material. I just gather ideas. I see things I'd like to do and I just add them to a list.
    Then I begin to think about who my central character is. The goals they have. I often find for me the goal is less intriguing than the want. I often come up with a cast of characters and central conflicts.
    Then I begin to plot around those things.
    I work on setting last.

    Hope something here was helpful
     
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  4. Richach

    Richach Active Member

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    The best advice I can give is:
    • Just write.
    • Give life to characters, set them challenges.
    • Let them interact with one another.
    • Dont write anything too big at first (its fine to write something with 50 words or 1K or 30K just go with it).
    This should do to begin with but dont get to hung up on perfecting your story. You need to write it first, then perfect & edit later. The technical process of writing will most liklely kill the creative process. So therfore create and then perfect.

    Good luck!
     
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  5. Damage718

    Damage718 Member

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    Each of us has a different creative process, and it can evolve over time.

    Often the most important - and sometimes hardest - part, is to just start!

    If you have an idea and can picture the story unfolding in your mind, start banging away at the keyboard or put a pen to your notebook. Sometimes just getting a brief synopsis, or even a single scene, down on paper helps launch the rest of the story. I've written a lot of pieces that started off as one little idea and I didn't really know at first where it would go...but once I just started writing it evolved on it's own (a very cool feeling, by the way ;))
     
  6. Cephus

    Cephus Active Member

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    The only way to understand how stories go together is to read a lot of stories. You learn through experience. If you are not a big reader, you will not be a good writer. Then you just write. Expect to be terrible for a very long time. Everyone is. You only learn how to do this through repetition. Most authors write an average of 6 complete books before they ever sell one. This isn't something that you can be told how to do, it's something you have to work our for yourself. Everyone is different. Everyone has a different style. You develop it by hard work.
     
  7. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    One of the things that got me writing was simply to start. BUT not necessarily at the start of the story. I spent a lot of time thinking up scenes, watching and getting to know my characters, getting a feel for what they were like. Then one day, almost on impulse, I sat down, opened a new document in my wordprocessor ...and wrote a scene. It was a scene from the middle of the story (where it still resides) but it was an important pivotal moment for my two main characters. I didn't worry about what came before, or what would be coming later. I just wrote the whole scene as I saw it happening in my head.

    And the next day I read what I'd written and thought ...hey. I can DO this. And began building from there. I wrote what I thought was going to be my opening chapter next. (It wasn't my opener, actually. I wrote my actual opening chapter at the end of the whole process, when I knew exactly how the story turned out. This first chapter turned out to be Chapter two.) I then wrote another scene containing more characters, and another pivotal scene where one of my two main characters enters the life of the other one.

    I kept working this way for a long time. Writing the scenes that mattered. I thought "I can write the boring scenes later." Turns out I didn't need to. The 'boring' scenes either weren't boring after all, or I handled them by skipping them altogether, using a transition of some kind.

    I had an idea where the story would go when I started, but I did NOT have a worked-out plan. And that's just as well, because the emphasis changed quite a few times. The more you write, the more you will get to know your characters and the setting, and the more things can change as a result. Try not to get locked in to a rigid plan. You will need to divert from it if a better plan emerges as you write.

    But just start. Pick a scene you like ...any scene at all. Don't worry about explaining how the scene came to be Just write it. Write honestly and don't censor yourself. WRite with the aim of drawing your reader into the scene, rather than telling them what's happening. Take your time to develop the emotions and ideas in the scene. Bring your characters to life. And ENJOY the process.

    My motto as a writer has always been : Write without fear; edit without mercy.
     
  8. Kallisto

    Kallisto Ruler of the world... somewhere...

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    If you've never written, then my suggestion is to just write what you want. Don't worry if it copies someone else. Don't worry if it's perfect. Just have a little fun.

    When you type it, pay attention to how things are spelled. Use that spelling and grammar checker not just to fix things, but actually learn from it. Why is it suggesting 'whom' instead of 'who?'

    Know the basic story structure of exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.

    Start characters by identifying their goals, motives, and conflicts.

    Now, this is not a complete list. There are more advanced story telling techniques to employ, but these are just the good basics. If you don't have the basic story structure and character development I just described, forget about the advanced stuff like irony, character arcs, good pacing, tone and plot twists

    If you have these basics, then you're going to be able to add some of the more advanced stuff, even without realizing it!
     
  9. Thundair

    Thundair Contributor Contributor

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    I have a few basic things in mind when I start. The first being I have something to say, and from there I look at a time period that would work for my characters. With those two things in place, I look at the genre I want to write in and decide if I want to write it in first person or third. From there—as you write—let the character grow and mature and you will discover who they are and how they’ll act in the continuous turmoil you put them in.
     
  10. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    You're looking for what every new writer is looking for... the magic key. Unfortunately it doesn't exist. Every key is unique and we cut our own by reading (lots) and writing (even more lots).
     
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  11. alanzie

    alanzie Member

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    It's interesting what Thundair said. As simple as that is, I have a hard time trying to decide whether to write first or third. I started my novel in third. I wasn't happy about it at all. Seemed forced. Dishonest. A wise person suggested I try to write in first person. I did my first scene over again in third, and something somewhat magical happend. I discovered who my main character was. More importantly, I went back to third person and discovered my voice.
    I so agree that once your characters are truly born, they tell you where the hell the story is going.
     
  12. alanzie

    alanzie Member

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    You silly person. Don't you realize that those that make up their own writing and thought processes are the true writers of our craft. Do what feels right. Do what feels honest. Write the story the way that only you can tell it. The main problem I had was finally realizing that I needed to tell a tale instead of write a book. Tell the tale the best way you can. That is what will make the story different from anything else ever written.
     
  13. Thundair

    Thundair Contributor Contributor

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    I recently wrote a short story about a female imbedded reporter that ended up fighting Daesh with the Kurds, 12,000 words.
    I wrote it in third person and was in my second draft when a beta reader suggested I change it to first to make the narration seem more personal as it was about her experiences. And wow what a difference that made. So I’ll add another suggestion write your story but listen to outside input, for isolated thought breeds isolated thinking.
     

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