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A discussion to stoke your writing fire.
Posted: 8/6/2008 9:09 AM PDT
I believe, we all are. It's easy to think of a story starter and the ender. Then, comes patience and perseverance to think on how to build it. Engineers spends lots of time playing with numbers to come up with a strong, beautiful building; writers spends lots of time stringing possible events to build a beautiful story.
Posted: 8/4/2008 1:18 PM PDT
I am a romance short story & novella writer. I am usually writing 3-5 stories at the same time. This helps with the "writers block". I think some writers feel they have to write one complete story at a time, thus they stall and never get restarted on their projects.
When I decide on a story, here is the outline I use:
I create a "Dump Sheet". This is the first page of my story. Here I put every plot, character, event, mini scripts, etc. I refer to this when I get to an em pass. I come here to rummage through my ideas and find a part that I can build on.
Character Closet - This section of the outline is where I put all the character ideas in. Everything from feelings, relationships, flaws, mini events and scripts. Now I have a place to keep random ideas for the characters.
Event Holdings - The name speaks for itself. When I have event inspirations, I jot them down here. This way I don't lose them although I'm in a completely different section of the story or other stories. I just dump them here for later retrieval.
This helps me keep my ideas flowing without feeling like I have to use them right then and there when I am writing. My ideas are constant and come to me at random times (watching a movie, TV show, music, on the golf course) so here I can just dump and rummage later. I thinks it's import to constantly Dump your ideas while they are fresh. This way you wont feel panic when you are stuck with "what now?"
Hope this helps!
Posted: 7/31/2008 9:42 AM PDT
I you need some help with th beginning of your story hit me up I might be able to lend a hand.
Posted: 7/31/2008 9:41 AM PDT
My friend a fellow writer and I do the same thing. I have used several of her dead stories in the past few years. She likes mine so much that she now has me start her novels and she take them from where I leave off all the way to completion. She just sold one to p publisher this year. I hope she does well with it.
Posted: 7/9/2008 4:58 PM PDT
That sounds good... I've never brainstormed with anyone but it's worth a try. Though, I think I finally came up with opening lines. Or rather it came to me
Posted: 7/9/2008 7:26 AM PDT
I have been doing that, too. In one story, at the beginning, because I can't decide on the POV, and in two other stories about three chapters in, because I have lost my way. What kind of things are you working on? Perhaps we could talk about each other's things and I could try to help you with your beginning and you could try to help me with my middle? :) Let me know!
Posted: 7/6/2008 4:26 PM PDT
I'm very good at the "filler" and endings. But, now I'm finding that I'm having problems in the beginning...Ugh! it's so frustrating. I've re-typed my beginning about three times already. I know how I want this story I'm currently typing to flow but I'm stuck on page one.
It's been over a month that I've gone back and revised--I might add :)
Posted: 7/6/2008 2:46 PM PDT
I'm like that. I know how i want the story to go. But its sometimes hard to get going. I have difficulty with ending a story though. Especially when i want it to be a series
Posted: 7/2/2008 5:30 AM PDT
I'm the exact opposite. I have such difficulty when I arrive toward endings. For instance, I'm nearly 200 pages into a new story and now it has come time to end the first part of the book. This ending to Part One is so important, because it sets the stage for the rest of the story. It has been the most difficult part of the story for me. I'm actually quite better at the "filler" stuff as someone aforementioned. I could write "filler" all day long. Starting a story and certainly ending a story are infinitely more difficult in my opinion.
Posted: 6/30/2008 1:46 PM PDT
It's also good to keep in mind that they call it a "First Draft" for a reason. As far as I'm concerned, the first draft exists so that I can figure out what a story is about. Second (and third, and fourth) drafts are for me to figure out how to tell the story. Powering through a first draft, not worrying about whether it's good or not, helps me to not get stuck. I just write as fast as I can until I reach an ending! If I like the ending, I'm in good shape, and I then start thinking of ways to build up to the ending. If I don't like the ending, alas! Then the hard work begins. I go back to the beginning, and I work at it, and work at it, and work at it, until something begins to become clear, or until I collapse from exhaustion.
In using the "Just write, as fast as you can, until you reach an ending" technique, you may find that you reach an ending that has NOTHING to do with your beginning. Consider this a blessing, and change the beginning.
Posted: 6/26/2008 2:02 PM PDT
I am the exact same way. I have a beginning and an end, however theres no filling...
What I have begun to do is take ALL of the stories I have ever begun to write and weave the plots and characters to make one big story... This helped out alot... now I have the whole story figured, but I am having trouble actually executing it.
Posted: 6/26/2008 8:10 AM PDT
That's a pretty unique idea, actually. I'll have to give it some definite consideration.
Discussing ideas works, too, but I find there aren't many people I like to discuss my unwritten plots with who 1) I trust, 2) would be interested enough to care, lol, and 3) actually "get" what I'm looking for, that being discussion spurring the thought process a little. Hmm. Maybe I can find someone here that will be into brainstorming together, on both their idea and mine.
Posted: 6/25/2008 6:59 AM PDT
I know the feeling! I have a friend who plays a game called "dead babies." (Gruesome, I know.) He takes those stories that never went anywhere, and exchanges them with another writer. Each of them takes the other's "dead story" and brings it back to life. You are free to do absolutely anything you want with the fragment you're given -- use it as it is, or take it apart and steal just a character, a setting, or whatever. Sometimes it's easier to finish someone else's story because you're not so attached to it. Maybe you can find someone to play "dead babies" with on WEbook!
Posted: 6/24/2008 1:53 PM PDT
I am a great story starter. I am also a great story ender. Off the top of my head, I have about four major ideas started, things that if I could ever finish would probably be at least novella-length, if not novel length. My trouble comes in after the first few chapters. I get stuck, and though I know I need events to keep the foward momentum, I can never think of what to write next. I usually always have a beginning and end in mind, and ideas for some of the things I want to happen in the story, but it's smooth transitions from scene to scene, or events to lead to other events, that get me stuck every time!
So frustrating! I could probably publish an entire book of only story beginnings that get stuck a little ways in!