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May 16th, 2006, 09:15 PM
Hey guys.
Wow, i haven't been here in a while. recently though, while home sick from school, i had this desperate urge to start writing again. i have two 10 to 15 thousand word beginnings for novels, (i write fantasy by the way) and two outlines for stories.

In a composition book by my bed, i have my ideas for stories, systems of magic i might use, and of course, the mythical beasts of the land and their magical properties.

Back to the subject however, while i was home sick, i busted out my handy dandy notebook (think that's copywrited, but w/e) and i began writing an all new outline for a system of magic i would like to use in a novel. I also created a complex (if i do say so myself) social structure for the world in which i will set my story. I really like this idea and think that a book based off of it (if i could do it justice) would be quite interesting.

So... i sat down in front of my computer staring at a blank Word Document and the next thing i know, i'm back here at sffworld asking for help. how pathetic...

So, after all that background information, probably boring most of you half to death, i'll get to the point. HELP!!!

I'll give you a quick synopsis of the first few scenes, and i hope you'll be able to help me find a starting point. Once i have one that i'm satisfied with, it'll be a million and two times easier for me to write. The first page of a story takes me anywhere from a day to a week, but after that, i can usually write much quicker because i have a general idea of where the story is going. I am not sure if i will simply start at the beginning of the "story" or start at a certain point and tell what came before in periodic flashbacks. help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Kid is orphan
Kid was adopted at young enough age that he doesn't remember much of his life before, and obviously, (it's a fantasy story, c'mon) he doesn't remember his parents. (yes, i'm aware of the cliche, you don't know how hard it was for me to write that)
Kid was adopted by a priest at the palace. (palace trains sorcerers)
Turns out that priest was the Headmaster/Prelate/Principal/person in charge
Soon after adoption, priest dies (corruption in the palace?)
Mean Headman/Prelate would have thrown out kid, put it was in will of priest that he stays
Keeps him on as a servant. wasn't reated well, but not the cruel abusive type cliche of other stores.
When hits certain age (haven't decided yet) is brought before Mean Headman
Told he is to learn magic (was in the will) and must report to the training yards the next day even though his family name isn't "noble" (I won't bore you with the social structure right now)
Goes next day, meets some new kids, makes a few friends/enemies.
Kids are being tested to find out what kind of magic they have The Touch for
They can't find protagonists magical gift, so try again next day
Still can't. He goes to lessons with other students and learns normal things (math, literature, religion, blah, blah, blah)
At magic lessons, learns about it, but can't do anything.
Practices at night, but still can't do anything until one night...
Meets some Sprite/Spirit/magic thing, haven't decided
Tells him prophecy about the Sorcerer of the Lost Arts
Doesn't use magic in normal way.
He has the magic that is bound to the Ancients ( the ones who came before)
The Chosen One (no, i'm not actually using that cliche, but i haven't thought of a good name for it yet) must do battle with the Harbinger...

And, that's all i'll bore you with today. It gets better later on (i hope) but i just need a starting point. Any feedback on the actual story is to be greatly appreciated as well.


May 16th, 2006, 11:09 PM
Long question, I'll bore you with a short answer.

I usually start with a sentence. (Don't just say 'Duh', read on.)

For example:

Jim bo was in a bad mood.

Which brings to mind the question, 'why was Jim bo in a bad mood?' Well, you don't have to answer that directly.

"Get cracking mud boy," the first apprentice yelled out. "I didn't bring you all the way out here to look at your feet!"

And then ...

Well, I bet you can take it from here. You write and write. Keep your background in mind, explain where you need to, but don't let your background become the main point. The story is about the characters. When you get done, you rewrite it so it makes more sense. At least, that's what I would do.

Hope that helps,


May 16th, 2006, 11:18 PM
Hey Kreschyboy, glad to help, ideas I can do.

Off the top of my head here are a few possible starts:

-The telling of the prophecy.have fun with it, in the middle of a war. Or in a castle, crazy bum whatever.

-The adoption and/or death of parents. does priest ask parents for child? Parents die, how? Child becomes seperated somehow. etc.

-A day in the life- good priest is still alive. child is doing his thing.

-At the desk- good priest dead. mean priest talking about tossing child. Mentions will. You'd half to flash back alot but that could be cool too.

-In wizard school- that would be tons of flashback (As a guess) but you could weave it in slow over the story. Adds a whole disecting the main character aspect to it.

Good luck and remember.
Life is a game, the object of which is to discover the object of the game.
Mr Jims.

May 17th, 2006, 12:31 AM
If you've gone this far into preparing a world, I'd say plot out your story. Figure out how long you want it to be, whose POV you want to use (Pick three or four as it'll flesh out you story a lot. More than that, as a starting writer, and you may run into too similar sounding voices). Figure out where it starts, and where it ends. DUring the plotting process, find the 'expected' scenes and figure out how to throw a curve ball. Don't bore your reader into a rut. Plotting helps this.

Once you've got a good outline (I recomend this because you appear to be a planner), do like was already mentioned, write something, anything. Get the fuel going. DOn't worry if it's literay genius or not, just get the story out of your head. Put the words on the page. Type like no ones looking (because no one is).

Once you pound out a first draft, edit the hell out of it (unless it's set in hell, then you may want to leave it in) but take the edit process to polish what you've written. To clean up grammar and smooth out scenes. If you put in a wife in chapter 7, go back and make sure it's not a surprise to the spouse. This is also a good time to figure out foreshadowing of future events in the story and places to drop those in.

The biggest advice I can give you, have fun. If you're not having fun, why bother doign it? If you're not having fun writing it, no one will have fun reading it. And that's that whole reason we're all here, right? we all like to have fun?

May 17th, 2006, 12:31 AM
Thanks alot guys.

MrBF1V3, i like that approach to coming up with ideas, its really interesting. Do you mind if i plagerize that bit about the first apprentice?

-At the desk- good priest dead. mean priest talking about tossing child. Mentions will. You'd half to flash back alot but that could be cool too

^ This looks like the one for me, or at least, within the first few pages it'll get there. I was thinking about something like that myself. Thanks alot to both of you. I'm gonna get to writing.



May 17th, 2006, 12:36 AM
Maus99, you would be correct in your assumption that i am a planner =D

I usually have most if not all of the main events plotted out before i begin writing. I generally don't know what's going to happen until i write a few thousand words though XD. I think plotting out a story is very helpful to me, and i am a person who likes including symbolism in my stories, so that is a good way for me to think all that up.

THanks again everyone


May 17th, 2006, 05:17 AM
Kreschy, check this out: prologue to A Shadow in Summer (http://www.danielabraham.com/ex1.htm). It's a short passage about a boy in a "magic" school. (Obviously, that's an oversimplified description). Not exactly what you're talking about but it might give you some ideas.

May 17th, 2006, 01:11 PM
just my opinion, but I find it interesting to start the story in the middle of a scene, without any preamble. Get the reader right into it and allow them to catch up with what's happened before, and what might happen. I started the first book of the trilogy I'm working on in such a manner. With the character in his room at night, reluctant to go to sleep in fear of what his dreams will show him. You can check it out below if you want.

btw, If there's one thing I've learned, it's that you should never reveal everything that's happened before at once, but drop it into the story at a sedate pace. It just reads more smoothly that way, I find.


May 17th, 2006, 08:29 PM
MrBF1V3, i like that approach to coming up with ideas, its really interesting. Do you mind if i plagerize that bit about the first apprentice?

No problem, what are friends for (friends who have never physically met each other and who know each other by aliases). I wanted to know what happens next anyway;) .


May 17th, 2006, 09:54 PM
Thanks alot guys. I've begun to tell my tale. i agree that it is more interesting to begin a story in the middle of a scene, and so that is what i have done. I hope to have a draft of the first chapter or two up on the story boards by the end of the weekend.

thanks again