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A discussion to stoke your writing fire.
Posted: 9/16/2008 11:03 AM PDT
When I have an idea for a story, but I'm having trouble getting started, I like to use the A, B, C, D, E formula, which I've posted about elsewhere on this forum. The basic idea is this: A = Action B = Background C = Conflict D = Development E = Ending You begin your story with a compelling action. What makes an action "compelling?" It should provide some mystery or provoke the reader to wonder, "Why is this happening? What will happen next?" After a paragraph or two of action, you interrupt to provide some background. The background shouldn't necessarily answer all the questions raised by the action, but it should provide some context and information to increase the reader's understanding of the situation. Background shouldn't last too long before you introduce some clear conflict in the story. This can be the main, central conflict that will drive the entire story, or it can be a smaller conflict that will lead to or develop into the main conflict. Development makes up the bulk of the story. It is, simply, what happens during the course of the story. Both the character(s) and the conflict(s) should undergo development and change, even if it is subtle. The ending is -- well, the ending. This is just a formula, and you shouldn't feel like you have to follow it to the letter. (Pun intended.) But having a structure like this to work from might help you get the wheels turning. Good luck!
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Posted: 9/15/2008 12:13 PM PDT
if you are having trouble writing a scene, try writing it from your character's perspective (this usually works well for me during the climax), sometimes this can get more engaging than actually writing the story, but it might help you find how to write better. hope this helps
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Posted: 9/13/2008 8:23 PM PDT
Pick an event to describe, or a character, or just write some dialogue that your characters might engage in. Soon you are busy filling in the lead up and it usually gets you flowing onward to other things. The initial piece of description or dialogue probably won't end up being used but at least it will get you started.
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Posted: 9/13/2008 5:43 PM PDT
An idea that works for me is 3X5 file cards. Describe every major scene, each on its own card. They don't have to be in order. Lay them out in front of you and the rest will follow. I hope I've been of help.
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Posted: 9/12/2008 8:07 PM PDT

Try brain storming for a week and see if you get any ideas. one thing i try to do is think of a book i enjoyed reading and then i think of story ideas that can make me enjoy my book too. ask friends on what they like to read about. it helps me.
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Posted: 9/12/2008 12:38 AM PDT
Probvbaly the best thing to do when you can't start is to just start! Forget the planning and mapping. You obviously know what the story is going to be about so just write one sentence. Even if you start with 'It was a dark adn stormy night' it will lead you into the story and you can change the pening later. Or start with one character: 'Mrs Jones was uncertain about scullery maid...' All you need is a way in, mapping and charting and gettign the historical details right can be doen in the next draft. Begin with one scene and that should lead you into other scenes. Ask yourself these questions: whose story is it? and whose point of view is best for telling that story? What tense would siut it best? Sometimes I think it helps when you connect with other writers. I usually find a chat with another writer is enough to get me going. Good luck with this.
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Posted: 9/11/2008 9:47 PM PDT
i want to start a short story originally planned as a novel (which it might one day), but i just can't seem to make a start. anyone got any handy hints or motivation. I was planning on mind mapping the historical back ground, but I just can't get into it. cheers guys
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