The most basic question from a beginning writer. - Page 3


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Thread: The most basic question from a beginning writer.

  1. #21
    Both my WIP are in fictional towns that are similar to towns I am familiar with in broad strokes.

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Plaidman View Post
    I'm listening to Strangers, by Dean Koontz.
    Strangers is a fantastic read. I read it over 20 years ago and still remember the plotline and characters. That's always a good indicator of a good story. Lightning is also another memorable one of Koontz's. If you get into Lightning (time travel), then I'd recommend Dark on Netflix. That's really stunning to watch.

    I wouldn't think about genre at this point, just focus on what you feel you want to write, what you'd like to see out there as reading material. Sometimes it's best just to run with your instinct and enjoy looking into your head.
    "You don't wanna ride the bus like this,"

    Mike Posner.



  3. #23
    I think the following question would be useful here: What's this month's prompt?

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Dluuni View Post
    Both my WIP are in fictional towns that are similar to towns I am familiar with in broad strokes.
    I've had it locked into my head that I needed to set my stories in existing places. I have no idea why something like this never entered my mind. Thanks!

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Aquilo View Post
    Strangers is a fantastic read. I read it over 20 years ago and still remember the plotline and characters. That's always a good indicator of a good story. Lightning is also another memorable one of Koontz's. If you get into Lightning (time travel), then I'd recommend Dark on Netflix. That's really stunning to watch.
    Thanks! I'll have to give those a try.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquilo View Post
    I wouldn't think about genre at this point, just focus on what you feel you want to write, what you'd like to see out there as reading material. Sometimes it's best just to run with your instinct and enjoy looking into your head.
    Looking into my head may be a dangerous thing to do.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken11 View Post
    I think the following question would be useful here: What's this month's prompt?
    Do you mean for the Literary Maneuvers? It's "Dead and Dreaming"

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Plaidman View Post
    Do you mean for the Literary Maneuvers? It's "Dead and Dreaming"
    LM, yes. Thank you.

  8. #28
    First, you need to find out a few things: what genre(s) will you work in, what style, in what period, and ultimately what do you want to write?

    Once you've found the answers to those questions, you start with a general idea. My idea for the first novel I ever wrote was: what would two ordinary civilians do when faced with extraordinary circumstances? From that, I knew I wanted to write a novel about how heroes are not born; they're forged by the situations they find themselves in and how they react to them.

    When you have your idea, it becomes a matter of creating a story around it. What characters do you want, who are your protagonists and antagonists, what POV are you writing it from, and will you have multiple POVs and multiple characters?

    The idea is step one. Most of the story spirals outwards from it, and though the story can evolve during the process, it's generally the case that everything logically follows from the initial idea, which is why publishers often ask people to condense their story into a one- or two-sentence tagline. You should be able to precis it back into the initial idea, i.e. two ordinary men face extraordinary situations.

    You'll find that once you answer those questions and figure out your idea, the rest will fall into place.
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  9. #29
    Mentor Megan Pearson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plaidman View Post
    I am a complete beginner at writing. It's something I've considered doing for several years. Here is the question that is at the heart of my problem:

    How do you start writing????

    I honestly don't know. I've tried a few times and ended up with a few paragraphs (or just sentences). But that's it.

    Can anyone offer some advice on how to start?

    Welcome aboard, Plaidman!

    I absolutely love your question. I love it because all writers start out where you are and... like it or leave it, everytime we begin a new piece it's rather like learning how to start writing all over again!

    My advice is going to be a little different than what's already been offered. (And that's the great thing about the internet--you get a lot of advice to pick & choose from!) I'm going to offer three questions.

    The first question is simply, what's important to you? This first question might take different forms, such as:
    What matters most in life? What one thing (or person) would be difficult to live without? Where is your passion in life?

    The second question follows the first: What if something happened to that thing you are passionate about?
    Other questions like it might be, What would happen if this one thing were suddenly taken away? Or, what if it had never existed? Or, what if it were all that existed?

    The third (and final!) question is a combo: What would it matter to you & what would you do about it?


    My fault is in being long-winded. Let me condense this:

    1. What are you passionate about?
    2. What tragic thing could happen to that which you are passionate about?
    3. What would you do about it?


    All stories are based on the idea that something happened. The fun part is finding out what that something is and writing about it.

    Hope to see you in the short fiction challenge!
    "A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for."
    ~ John A. Shedd


  10. #30
    The beauty of writing is you can make the world anything you damned well please!
    Tis why I love writing post-apocalyptic stories: they are a blank slate where anything is possible.

    If you write a crime drama, it'll need to be anchored in some level of realism.
    But the apocalypse can be anything. I mean, think of stories like Blood of the Heroes.
    They played wicked-violent football using a dog's skull for a ball.
    How far out was that?
    That was writing outside of the box.

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