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Thread: Storyline

  1. #1

    Smile Storyline

    So, I've been having trouble recently with coming up with a story that I really like, so I thought I'd ask how you guys come up with yours.

    I mean, do they pop fully formed into your head, as J.K.Rowling claimed hers did?

    Do you start with a beginning, and end, and fill in the gaps with how you want to get there?

    Do you take it one event at a time, and slowly develop the story that way?

    Just curious, and thought it might help me. Also if you have any exercises you use to get the creative juices flowing, that'd be nice too! Personally I've found speed/impromptu writing a good way of coming up with interesting ideas... Or reading about ancient mythology is another useful one I've used a few times.

  2. #2
    Junior Member Cinnea's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    I often use books / films about mythology, like you. Or fairytales. Random surfing on Wikipeidia might work too and documetary films.

    For me, it usually start with ONE idea, often sprung from a "what if....?" when I see something interesteing. I like to take a relatively known myth / character and twist it/him/her a bit, or place it all in a very different setting. It grows from there, and is often hardly recognizable in the end.

    My plots definetly doesn't pop up anywhere near fully formed. I might "get" a scene or two (and it certainly don't have to be the most important ones) but they can be all over the place. Even though I am a plotter, I usually have to rearrange things a couple of times to make it work. Often I know the ending pretty soon, too, and kind of ask myself "to get to this point, what needs to happen before?" or "what the **** did they do to end up with this mess?" Then I work backwards (and forwards and backwards again a few times....) until I have something to start with.

    Oh, characters... they might actually pop up quite fully formed and resist me trying to mould them into what I want......

  3. #3
    I mean, do they pop fully formed into your head, as J.K.Rowling claimed hers did?
    they did pop up, fully formed, by her overhearing it at a café

    I start with a concept, a few characters, then plot out the storyline from there expansively, thinking about the concept and characters I had
    Some men see things as they are and ask why.
    I dream things that never were and ask why not?

    - Robert. F. Kenedy

  4. #4
    My first full novel I wrote was completely unplanned when I began. The entire 10,000 word prologue had absolutely no plan. I was just writing. Piece by piece, I came up with a plan for the novel and, as soon as I completed it, I created a rough plan for the entire series... although I'm not sure how much I'll use it. My point is, I just started writing and everything else came together for me. Maybe that's not how it works for most, but it's worth a shot if you're stuck.
    Best of wishes and chamos.

  5. #5
    My processes are random. Sometimes, I might have a plan; other times, things are grown from nothing, maybe just a seed that I plant to see what happens. I wouldn't worry too much. Planning comes into play when that seed just isn't doing anything for you; then do some world-building and see what the result is...if a seed appears.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ophiucha's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    I'm pretty terrible with plots, I really have to work to get one I like. I'm more of a character person. I tend to write a first draft without any plot if I can't come up with one, and just say "this is the beginning, this is end" and let the process come up with something I can tweak. It's pretty much the only thing that works for me.
    currently writing strawberries & pearls.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Kaellpae's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
    Seattle, WA
    My way probably isn't the best, but I've been making a world and just thinking about how events changed it. Maybe there's a story in the development of the world. I guess you'd say I'm wanting to tell past stories like King Arthur and Robin Hood.

    Pretty sure I just confused my own thought process.

    Also, I'm pretty sure I don't have a story yet. Just a world.

  8. #8
    Wow, there's allot of diversity here, that's great! I guess there's no real right way to develop a plot. There's probably not even an optimal way, considering how different people are. What works best for you, I suppose. I'll try a few things that were recommended. Thanks, everyone!

  9. #9
    I used to obsess about planning out a plot, or developing a character before I started writing. I have recently learned that it is more important to actually start writing. Just get something down on paper, you can always go back and edit. Usually ideas will start to flow once you have started.
    A man's character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation.
    --Mark Twain

  10. #10
    Senior Member Amanita's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    I'm currently working on two stories. For one of them I have interesting characters and settings (or so I hope) but the actual plot keeps changing all the time. I hope I have it nailed down to something useful by now though.
    For the other one, the plot is quite clear because the story is happening before the other one (about 100 years earlier) and I know exactly what's happening. This actually makes it difficult for me to actually start writing this down, because it isn't really about the characters but about the greater world around them, not caring much about the characters themselves who I usually tend to focus on. Besides the fact that it's a very depressing story and that I have five characters at the moment who are equally important to the story and the story definitely isn't about a single one of them.

    As you can see by this, I don't have a standard procedure in creating storylines even though it might be better If I did. The advice that the most important thing is to actually start writing is surely very sound.

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