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i would assume that you would first need the main idea
character development
an interesting intro to get readers attention
Kita-Ysabell's avatar

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Be careful about qualifiers like "interesting." They can end up being major roadblocks to actually getting started.

That said, you want to have a plot idea that will carry you through the execution thereof. It takes practice to figure out what this means to you, and that's a matter of trial and error. The key is to keep working and not try to put something out of mind because you don't really want to start working on it but you can't quite bear to throw it in the wood chipper.

As for me, I needed to understand what the central themes of the story were going to be and have an opening scene. I reserve judgment on the quality of this opening scene and its effect on readers, just having it was enough. I needed a central image to get things off the ground, and something indescribable or sublime or whatever you want to call it that I was setting out to describe.

I actually found it useful to not overdevelop any of this. The less definite your ideas of your characters are, the less you have to worry about faithfully representing them, for instance.
Kita-Ysabell
Be careful about qualifiers like "interesting." They can end up being major roadblocks to actually getting started.

That said, you want to have a plot idea that will carry you through the execution thereof. It takes practice to figure out what this means to you, and that's a matter of trial and error. The key is to keep working and not try to put something out of mind because you don't really want to start working on it but you can't quite bear to throw it in the wood chipper.

As for me, I needed to understand what the central themes of the story were going to be and have an opening scene. I reserve judgment on the quality of this opening scene and its effect on readers, just having it was enough. I needed a central image to get things off the ground, and something indescribable or sublime or whatever you want to call it that I was setting out to describe.

I actually found it useful to not overdevelop any of this. The less definite your ideas of your characters are, the less you have to worry about faithfully representing them, for instance.



i can understand where you're coming from but if i dont develop my character i usually change how she/he should react to the situation and just use my perspective instead of creating a totally different person from myself gets real difficult lol mrgreen
An idea. Then developing it till you have a general course for the piece. Everything else depends on the piece and your, but doing those two things can help.
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I wouldn't worry about interesting.

Focus on clarity instead. Clarity can at least earn respect and can get people to go back to it. Tell the readers what is happening and to whom and go from there.

'John was running from the mob.' Admittedly a very plain sentence, but it gives a character and a conflict. If the reader wants to know more about them, they'll keep reading.

Also keep in mind that a lot of the writing process is rewriting and scrapping ideas for others. This tends to apply especially to beginnings.
Well, I guess everyone has their own different approach. I usually just start with an idea, develop it until I've got a workable premise, then I start planning out where I want my plot to go.

I don't like to overdo it, but once I've got a vague idea of where the story is going, I begin my first chapter. I do think it's important that you have a "hook" in your story, something to draw readers in.
I generally start with an idea for a scene and go from there. That said, I also have a bad habit of bogging myself down trying to get my characters just right.
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Mortok
Words.

You must be some sort of genius.
I_Write_Ivre
I wouldn't worry about interesting.

Focus on clarity instead. Clarity can at least earn respect and can get people to go back to it. Tell the readers what is happening and to whom and go from there.

'John was running from the mob.' Admittedly a very plain sentence, but it gives a character and a conflict. If the reader wants to know more about them, they'll keep reading.

Also keep in mind that a lot of the writing process is rewriting and scrapping ideas for others. This tends to apply especially to beginnings.




i say interesting intro because i know the feeling of reading a book and it doesnt grab my attention because the intro was plain its simlpe to write "john was running from the mob" doesnt even give a setting, where was he running, was it raining, how many people where behind him ,where they armed and all sort of questions that could have been answered in the intro
well just my opinion anyways
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RoseMeadow
I_Write_Ivre
I wouldn't worry about interesting.

Focus on clarity instead. Clarity can at least earn respect and can get people to go back to it. Tell the readers what is happening and to whom and go from there.

'John was running from the mob.' Admittedly a very plain sentence, but it gives a character and a conflict. If the reader wants to know more about them, they'll keep reading.

Also keep in mind that a lot of the writing process is rewriting and scrapping ideas for others. This tends to apply especially to beginnings.




I say interesting intro because i know the feeling of reading a book and it doesn't grab my attention because the intro was plain its simple to write "john was running from the mob" doesn't even give a setting, where was he running, was it raining, how many people where behind him ,where they armed and all sort of questions that could have been answered in the intro
well just my opinion anyways


I never said those questions couldn't or shouldn't be answers, but that the reader wants to know more about what's going on, which would include details about the mob, weather, world and reason.

The sentence that John was running is very important. It makes us wonder about all those things. Otherwise, you're not giving the reader a hook via conflict, but hoping a diorama will draw them in, which usually doesn't work.
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There two main beginnings I write (or have read), dramatic, straight into the action or long and descriptive. There isn't a right or wrong way for each story. I prefer long and descriptive because I want the reader to visualise the scene, the sights, the smells and the noises, then I'll introduce my characters. I have a whole novel to write plenty of action!
RoseMeadow
Kita-Ysabell
Be careful about qualifiers like "interesting." They can end up being major roadblocks to actually getting started.

That said, you want to have a plot idea that will carry you through the execution thereof. It takes practice to figure out what this means to you, and that's a matter of trial and error. The key is to keep working and not try to put something out of mind because you don't really want to start working on it but you can't quite bear to throw it in the wood chipper.

As for me, I needed to understand what the central themes of the story were going to be and have an opening scene. I reserve judgment on the quality of this opening scene and its effect on readers, just having it was enough. I needed a central image to get things off the ground, and something indescribable or sublime or whatever you want to call it that I was setting out to describe.

I actually found it useful to not overdevelop any of this. The less definite your ideas of your characters are, the less you have to worry about faithfully representing them, for instance.



i can understand where you're coming from but if i dont develop my character i usually change how she/he should react to the situation and just use my perspective instead of creating a totally different person from myself gets real difficult lol mrgreen



When the writer is looking for the themes that they want present in their piece then that means the story will be plot driven by descriptions and character action rather than the plot of the story being developed by the characters. Meaning your story unfolds as the characters develop and learn, but this does not mean that themes will not be present. The story just focuses on creating the plot through the characters, rather than long descriptive paragraphs that describe the setting, thoughts, and actions of the characters. There is often much dialogue intermixed into a story when it is character driven. A good example is that of No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy. The novel constructs around the character development of each of them. Even the film version does a bit of this, but as a writer/reader it's a rule of thumb that you must read the novel before watching the film. However, once you outline and figure out the way you want to convey the themes, plot etc of the story, that is when you might have beginning of a story. For instance do you start with dialogue that hints at setting and plot? Do you start with a descriptive scene of the landscape/place with the descriptions of characters? It is a matter of how you want to construct the story/piece/novel.

P.S. I agree about avoiding qualifiers like "interesting." That can only confuse you, because your idea of interesting may not be so to your readers. Also, as writers we have the tendency to always make a character that is reminscent of ourselves. Within our fictional writing we tend to find ways to implement our voice as the author either through the voice of a character or in the descriptive nature of some sort of theme in the story. I don't think writers can absolve themselves of that quality. There is always a character similar to you and you might notice similar to those around you, that you have read of in other novels, seen on TV, in movies. They might be original, the characters, but they are still bits and pieces of what you know as the writer.

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