1. Novel Novice

    Novel Novice New Member

    Jul 10, 2007
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    Starting off... And Maintaining

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Novel Novice, Jul 25, 2007.

    Hey folks,

    I have an awful time getting my projects up and running. I ideas, sure, but it's never an easy take-off... or flight, for that matter.

    I was just wondering what you all had to offer with starting off a story (novel or short story of any genre)? Do you find yourself just writing and seeing where it takes you? Do you have some mathematical plan that allows you a smooth start? Do you rough draft the whole story before you set finger to keyboard?

    And then, once the story is started (when I do get wheels off the runway), I cannot seem to maintain the story line for some stories for very long. Any tips with this?

    As you can see, I am a writer that needs heavy molding. Any help would be much appreciated! Thank you.
  2. Crazy Ivan

    Crazy Ivan New Member

    Dec 26, 2006
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    The dumpster behind your McDonalds.
    Try writing brief summaries of your scenes out beforehand. ie:

    1. Jack and Jill are going up the hill to fetch a pail of water so they can put out a bushfire
    2. Jill realizes there is no water in the well; flashback scenes of the drought on Fairy Tale Land and the effects it has been having on the citizens.
    3. Jack, seeing that the fire is going to claim them all, grabs Jill and makes passionate love to her in the light of the flames.
    4. The fire destroys Fairy Tale Land; show citizens dying (The scene of Humpty Dumpty being cooked should be particularly exciting)
    5. Hundreds of years later, aliens come across the ruins of the city and wonder what kind of people used to live here.


    ....or something like that. =P
    Just briefly plan out your scenes and you'll find the directions and plots of the book beginning to connect together, and hopefully come to a conclusion. From there on, it's only a matter of inflating the outline with a bunch of words to make your story. ;)
  3. DivineLemon

    DivineLemon New Member

    Jul 24, 2007
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    I agree with Ivan. If you have a basic plot worked out you should take the next step and state what you would like to happen.

    Being organized makes writing a whole lot easier. When you have a clutter mess of ideas it is not that easy to work, now is it?
  4. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
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    Massachusetts, USA
    I've never finished a lengthy story, but I do see a process forming that is turning what started as a short story into a much longer one.

    I began a story recently with one scene in mind. In order to write that scene, I needed some back story, and I needed a character. Once I wrote the back story and began to form the character, the back story was showing signs of being very very rushed, so I began to expand it. This led to a need for a couple of additional characters, and I also started to see that the story itself needed to go somewhere beyond that scene. That is bringing in a need for more characters, and my central character has picked up some traits that are beginning to drive the story as well.

    All this started from a scene and a character. I hadn't planned the story to be big, but it is starting to look like it may need to become a novel. Frankly it scares the hell out of me. But maybe it will provide part of an answer to your question.
  5. LionofPerth

    LionofPerth New Member

    Jul 21, 2007
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    Perth, WA
    I often start from a scene, first building the background and characters, then I start to write some scenes, creating some type of plot from that.

    Generally, how an idea starts out for me is a small idea that won't leave me alone.

    Take Balance, I saw that idea turn up in a type of dream, wrote the scene, and wall pulled in.
  6. Baywriter

    Baywriter Contributor Contributor

    May 31, 2007
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    This is exactly why I write about things I've experienced. I don't need an outline. I don't need to think about what comes next. The memories are already there.
  7. mypensmysoul

    mypensmysoul New Member

    Jul 26, 2007
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    The U.S. of A.
    I usually go wherever my mind takes me, but I always have a ten-scene tool sitting next to me (Any and all stories have ten basic scenes. Try it.) to help myself from overwriting or getting off track.

    Ten Scene Tool:

    1. Opener *duh
    2. Point of No Return Complication --aka PNRC-- *where your character cannot ever go back to how things were beforehand.
    3-8. Your most defining complications.
    9. Climax *duh
    10. Conclusion *duh

    Good luck!

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