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  1. #1516
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    hmmmm ok, so I have a rough idea on a plot (very high level but have been kicking it around for sometime) but how do I get started? Is it a case of "start at the beginning" or is it posisble to write main chunks and then join it together....

    should I look to write short chapters first to get the flow of the story and then flesh it out? Am not sure I will be any good at it but hey, cant hurt to try.....

  2. #1517
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    I've always started at the beginning, Rob.

    Sometimes, though, another idea will be shuffled back to the beginning so at the end, the start wasn't the beginning - if you know what I mean

    Geoff

  3. #1518
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeoffNelder View Post
    I've always started at the beginning, Rob.

    Sometimes, though, another idea will be shuffled back to the beginning so at the end, the start wasn't the beginning - if you know what I mean

    Geoff
    think I get what you mean... what starts out as the start may in fact come half way through....

    right then - time to tell the wife not to expect conversation out of me for the next 25 years while I write my epic novel of good, bad and indifferent grammer......

  4. #1519
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    Quote Originally Posted by robw View Post
    think I get what you mean... what starts out as the start may in fact come half way through....

    right then - time to tell the wife not to expect conversation out of me for the next 25 years while I write my epic novel of good, bad and indifferent grammer......
    That's what's happened to my wife for the last 25 years. Maybe yours and mine could start a writers' widows club.

    Geoff

  5. #1520
    Edited for submission Holbrook's Avatar
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    I have a couple of submissions still out there, both for Hand of Glory and Oracle, but not expecting to hear back for a few weeks.

    I have been attempting to start a new work for a few months. I know the story outline, but I had trouble finding a main protag that fitted the idea. I have had a few false starts (using various characters in the story to hang the main plot on) but none worked.

    I think I have the character I need now, and this has changed the whole feel and texture of the storyline.

    Will see how it goes. I have a total of 900 words ROFL! just another 100,000 or slightly more to go!

    Also, I had forgotten how much more work is needed to create a "fantasy world based" story. Not so much from the info dumping, I try to avoid that like the plague, but creating the world in my notes so I can colour the story, the characters' actions and reactions to their world and culture. And as this is based of a short story I wrote a few years ago it makes it easier and harder at the same time, if that makes sense.

  6. #1521
    Speculative Horizons Moderator JamesL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeoffNelder View Post
    Good for you, James. Doesn't it feel good to even know a paragraph of new words has been achieved?
    Geoff
    Absolutely. For example last night I ended up re-writing the previous night's work because I saw immediately that it wasn't quite right. So even though I'd not made any progress in terms of word-count, it still felt good to have done some writing and tighten things up.

    I do try and leave re-writing for later on, but sometimes you just read something you've written and immediately know how to improve it. Might as well strike while the iron's hot. Have to be careful though, as trying to write the perfect draft first time is the quickest route to madness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Holbrook
    I have been attempting to start a new work for a few months. I know the story outline, but I had trouble finding a main protag that fitted the idea. I have had a few false starts (using various characters in the story to hang the main plot on) but none worked.
    I know the feeling, Holbrook. The idea that I'm working on has been floating around in my head for several years, but only after several false starts and hours of pondering have I finally now figured out the plot and structure. The main protagonist as well was causing me quite a lot of grief until recently. Sometimes you just have to leave things to ferment for a while. I've found that if I sit down and brainstorm I rarely figure anything out, yet solutions and ideas will quite happily pop into my head at completely random times.
    Last edited by JamesL; June 4th, 2008 at 04:09 AM.

  7. #1522
    Registered User BrightStar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robw View Post
    hmmmm ok, so I have a rough idea on a plot (very high level but have been kicking it around for sometime) but how do I get started? Is it a case of "start at the beginning" or is it posisble to write main chunks and then join it together....

    should I look to write short chapters first to get the flow of the story and then flesh it out? Am not sure I will be any good at it but hey, cant hurt to try.....
    The beginning writer has as much to learn about how they write as they do about how to write. When I started writing my fantasy novel, it was a case of having an event in my mind, and writing so as to reach that point. My first attempts to write were basically a long sequence of scenes (divided into seperate chapters) which had little really connecting them together.

    With my story, I divided it into "parts". It makes it a bit easier for me to think in my mind of the story that way. So, after I finished writing part one, I went back over it and did some serious planning. Then I re-wrote a good 50% of the whole thing again. After that point, I showed my work to a critique group, and based on their comments, I am now going over my work for a third time and re-writing (or mostly extending) much of the content.

    But that's just what works for me, and I imagine the process I'll go through in order to get part two written will be quite different to what I went through with part one. I'm still learning how I work best. I've fallen into the trap of having other writers tell me "you must do this" or "you must never do that", but let me tell you that you should not always take their words for absuloubt truth. But do listen to their advice, I've developed a lot of my own writing methods based on what other people have told me they do. It helps.

  8. #1523
    aka. Stephen B5 Jones MrBF1V3's Avatar
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    I don't know if it counts as progress, but I did recieve a form rejection from an agent.

    It might be progress because it's better than being ignored, sort of.

    ".. I have reviewed your material and it is not anything I wish to work with at this time."

    Um ... "not anything"?

    Anyway, still writing and still looking for an agent.

    B5

  9. #1524
    Where have I been? Moderator JRMurdock's Avatar
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    Anything regarding writing counts as progress B5, you know that.

    I got an acceptance for http://www.horrorquarterly.com/chime...uidelines.html

    Out of 40 stories short-listed, 23 were picked. Not sure how many submissions there were. Just glad to be in print once again. WOO!

    This is the kick I needed to get off my duff and start writing once again. I've been slacking for a few months. My stories aren't going to write themselves.

    Astel, has gotten several rejections from agents so far. I'm about to send out the second batch of e-mails (the next 30 on my list). 10 of the first 30 have not responded in 2 months, so I'll call them rejected.

  10. #1525
    Registered User BrightStar's Avatar
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    I started making some proper progress with my story at last. After what must be at least nine months now, I've finally returned back to the point where my story is all I can think of, where I can't sleep and when anything that dares interrupt my writing time makes me bad tempered and irritable. It's wonderful to be so enthusiastic again, but the sleepless nights, weird dreams and irritability I could perhaps do without. Well, maybe not the weird dreams, they're actually quite interesting sometimes.

    Although it's encouraging that I'm actually writing again, what's somewhat disheartening is how long it takes me to produce anything of note. I must have spent at least six hours yesterday writing, yet I barely produced more than 1,250 words. On average, I write 250 words an hour, which is causing me some degree of irritation because half of that hour isn't even spent writing! I find every excuse to distract myself for "just a minute", and the rest of that non-writing time I end up meticulously planning out every word and punctuation mark I'm going to write down. And end up using none of it!

    It's frustrating, just imagining how much more writing I'd get done if I could break myself of certain bad habbits. But, at least I *am* writing. Chapter one of my story has changed a fair bit from the first version (the essence of the plot is still the same though) and I'm rather pleased with some of the developments I've introduced. I'd been worried I've spent the past 9 months of writing wasting my time, but at least it would seem that all the map design, and worldbuilding I've done has really come in handy.

  11. #1526
    Registered User Parylin's Avatar
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    When I started reading this thread I felt intimidated and a little frustrated at my lack of productivity... or maybe it was disappointment. I've only ever finished 2 novels and those were ten years ago. Since then, it has been a start-stop progress. I'm slowly starting to understand what works for me and what doesn't. And the more posts I read, the more I feel inspired. I've given myself a tentative date for my current project - as yet unnamed - and I'm really trying hard to stick through the blocks and shut up the inner editor for a while (that's the hardest part).

    So far, 3 scenes down (about 1-2%). But I think tonight will be a good night. This is my first post in the forum, and I'm already leaving to go write. That's progress.

    ~Parylin.

  12. #1527
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    well have started on the preface so will see how I go.... finding my writing "immature" but havent written a "story" since I was in school (which is too many years ago for my liking)....

    will see how far I get with the preface - have had an idea to change it - it sort of "ended" without reaching a point I could work from - ie who would find the ambushed earls dead body - but have found the ideal candidate in the Earl's faithful "Master of Birds" who was awaiting his lord for the start of the days hunt..... now just need to weave him into the story in more detail (or am I allowed to dump him once he has reported the demise of eth Earl?)

  13. #1528
    Loveable Rogue Moderator juzzza's Avatar
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    Just banked my first royalty cheque (check for my US buddies).

    Alas, I won't be strutting into work tomorrow to retire, but it's a buzz all the same!


  14. #1529

    New to forum - max productivity

    OK - I'm new to the forum as of about three minutes ago. I saw this thread and could not help myself. I have never been this productive before and I have a feeling that life will intervene at some point and slow me down, so now is the moment.

    I have:
    -2 stories off to magazines
    -2 stories in editing
    -1 novella in editing
    -2 books ready for editing
    -1 book sitting about half-written (oops)
    -and I just passed 200 pages last week on Torment, the book I am currently writing

    The hardest part, finding honest editors to look at the finished work. I don't feel like I am the best 'last word' for my own writing, but family is never willing to be cruel like they need to. *sigh*

    Happy writing and good luck to everyone working on a project (or waiting for a muse).

  15. #1530
    Ill edit some if you like

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