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Trying to formulate a story line ??? Not very good at it

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posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 08:49 AM
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Hi Guys

I am trying to write a story ... and to complete it !!! . I am up to 3000 words.... how many words is a short ish to medium length story ???

I seem to be just at the beginning .. I have introduced some of the main characters .. I need to expand this .

How do I create the story plot ??? I have ideas but not a definite plan as such.

Any suggestions would be welcome.

These are the characters so far>

Aira: 13 year old girl... gifted , not sure how yet.

Professor Gustav: Her father .. slightly eccentric but very kind scientist

Sophia: Her mother .. can travel across time.

Alfie: Their talking cat

The dragons: Tomas and his mother.

Peter: time traveller in 2014.

Young biy .. name undecided , about 15 from war time Britain to 2014.

BTW I just would really appreciate help / pointers as to how write plots etc .. I know some of you guys are really good at it.

Thank you for your help




posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 09:15 AM
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a reply to: HelenConway


Ummm...Hello Helen...I'm new to this forum...

When I write...I ask myself some questions...such as...What do I want to DO with my story...? (as per the reader...I.E., humor them...scare them...shake them up...etc.?)

What do I want to convey to the reader...? (wonderment...awe...acceptance...etc.?)

How do I convey these ideas...? (conflict...action...suspense...etc.?)

Remember the five W's and the five senses

Use an outline and a timeline...put as many adjectives in each of these categories as you can come up with...

It's not about word count...it's more about when you feel that your message is complete...(not to say that it can't be fleshed out in editing or rewrites)

The best way to help create your plot and keep the theme going is to draw from real life experience...especially in the interpersonal relationships between characters...
Also...remember that there are usually many subplots within the context of the main plot...

I hope this helps...




YouSir



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 10:08 AM
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a reply to: YouSir
Thank you Yousir

Do you write the plot before you start the story ??

I have started the story .. without the plot ... I will have a think about planning ... and maybe post it on here .

What are the 5 Ws ?

Thank you again


edit on 4-1-2015 by HelenConway because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 10:27 AM
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originally posted by: HelenConway
a reply to: YouSir
What are the 5 Ws ?


Who is it about?
What happened?
When did it take place?
Where did it take place?
Why did it happen?



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 11:02 AM
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For me it was always best to have an outline first. I have to know where the story will end in order to direct it there. I found it very helpful, especially in the beginning, to write in an A/B rhythm. The odd chapters are about the main plot line. The even chapters are for the sub-plots to advance and fade away. Its a sort of beginners way of keeping multiple storylines happening simultaneously. As you become more comfortable with the process you will naturally begin to merge the two and soon have a style all your own.

Start small and remember you can always flesh it out later. Don't get caught up with extreme detail the first time through. Let the words flow and try not to interrupt the thought process. Let it run its course. I sometimes go as far as typing short notes about other scenes or characters in the middle of a sentence as soon as I think of them then continue the sentence I was typing. The more comfortable you become letting the thoughts flow the easier it will be to direct your story where you want it to go.

The second pass is for the grammar and punctuation and fleshing out the details. Don't worry about that stuff the first time through. Just get the ideas down. You can cut and paste to your hearts content afterward, but only if they are on paper in the first place.

No matter what, remember to enjoy the process. Have fun with it. Good luck.



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 11:20 AM
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a reply to: ProfessorChaos
Thanks Prof



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 11:20 AM
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I haven't written many stories, but i will recommend you stop and decide almost everything before continuing to write. It is imperative that you have a clear idea of what the story will be and who every major character is. Both aspects should be well developed before writing a story. I recommend you take a look at the three act structure and Christopher Vogler's Hero's Journey. They are good examples:

Three Act Structure:



www.elementsofcinema.com...

Christopher Vogler's Hero's Journey:



www.thewritersjourney.com...

Both intertwined:



cinemajam.com...

I urge you to read the above links as you may find them helpful.



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 11:20 AM
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a reply to: Vroomfondel
Ok that was very helpful , thank you vroomfondel



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 11:22 AM
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a reply to: daaskapital
Thank you Daaskapital... I am getting so many useful tips I will read those links



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 11:23 AM
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a reply to: HelenConway

No worries! I wish you the best of luck!

edit on 4-1-2015 by daaskapital because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 12:32 PM
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I often start a story without a real plot in mind. I bring in places and characters and as they develop, so does the story line. Listening to certain kinds of music can help to inspire and move a story along.



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 12:37 PM
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originally posted by: HelenConway
Hi Guys

I am trying to write a story ... and to complete it !!! . I am up to 3000 words.... how many words is a short ish to medium length story ???

I seem to be just at the beginning .. I have introduced some of the main characters .. I need to expand this .

How do I create the story plot ??? I have ideas but not a definite plan as such.

Any suggestions would be welcome.

These are the characters so far>

Aira: 13 year old girl... gifted , not sure how yet.

Professor Gustav: Her father .. slightly eccentric but very kind scientist

Sophia: Her mother .. can travel across time.

Alfie: Their talking cat

The dragons: Tomas and his mother.

Peter: time traveller in 2014.

Young biy .. name undecided , about 15 from war time Britain to 2014.

BTW I just would really appreciate help / pointers as to how write plots etc .. I know some of you guys are really good at it.

Thank you for your help


There are only a few basic plot "formulas" that are used over and over.

Start with one.

How about the reluctant hero?

There's an external problem. The hero has to save the day, even though the hero has no initial desire, or even has a reluctance to get involved.

There's an external enemy. The hero must conquer the external problem.

But there's an internal enemy. Something or somebody the hero trusted, that betrayed him.

The hero must dig deep, learn something about himself or herself, grow. Then use this growth to win the final battle and return things to equilibrium.

How's that? Does that help?



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 01:06 PM
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a reply to: Jamie1
It does thank you Jamie




posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 02:35 PM
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a reply to: HelenConway


Ummm...As to the story and plot...It usually starts with a rough draft and then I move to an outline...although
to be honest...some stories seem to write themselves and I'm just along for the ride...



YouSir



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 04:56 PM
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Some writers use outlines others do not. I used to overwhelm myself with all the plot craziness until I understood not to take much advice seriously because ten people will have ten different answers. If you're just starting out, what helped me at least, was a very basic outline in Roman numerals. I write the chapter title beside the number, and only use numbers for the main chapter point, like "IV A fist fight". Then under that I use letters for what happens during that chapter, and keep doing that until I reach a final chapter, then only after I have finished my outline do I begin to write. And usually don't follow the outline 100% but stay within the limits I set so there's no drifting. I tend to drift. Have fun!



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 06:00 PM
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a reply to: Flesh699

Thanks Flesh that is interesting .. because I have found so far .. in my 3000 words that I found the story just sort of came to me ... but I am trying to finish a story .. for once in my life .. that is at least 20000 words I would think .. so short outline may work.

Thank you



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 06:04 PM
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originally posted by: YouSir
a reply to: HelenConway


Ummm...As to the story and plot...It usually starts with a rough draft and then I move to an outline...although
to be honest...some stories seem to write themselves and I'm just along for the ride...



YouSir


I can relate to the stories seeming to write themselves and my being along for the ride.



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 06:38 PM
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I think, to write a truly good story sometimes all preconceived ideas must be abandoned,

I never know how a story will end, as in a real story, I let it flow from my fingertips, most often the end becomes apparent, sometimes it ends abruptly like ( no country for old men )

It all depends how it feeeels to me.



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 06:57 PM
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Imagine a continuum.

At one end are the ultimate planners. They outline the general plot, assign chapters to the stages of the plot, write a page about each character and eventually plan each and every paragraph. They may draw maps, list of people and places and all sorts of things. Then they write the book, following the plan.

At the other end of the continuum are the authors that just sit down, smile at the task ahead and just start typing.

YOU are somewhere along that continuum and you need to find out where.

All of the advice you get and the blogs you read can only tell you how that author or this author does it. What works for them may not work for you.

Now, all I can do to help is to tell you how I do it and maybe you use a bit of my advice, a bit of Night Star's, some of Flesh699 etc.

I run through a little of the story in my head. Let us call it daydreaming. At some stages I may even act a bit out, I may talk it through or yell to see how the emotions actually feel, so I can write them with some depth.

I do not care where the story is going, I have no plan. For me it is as Night Star has said above, the story just about writes itself.

Aim for whatever length you wish to or just don't aim for a word count. According to most blogs, a book in this genre needs 100,000 words +- 15%. But hey, that is someone else's opinion. For me, it works well and thus far my books range from 94,000 to 114,000.

Finally, what you are going through on your first major work is to discover where you fit on the continuum. Have fun! Loosen up and don't take it too seriously.

You can also put you first few thousand words up here for us to all (kindly) tear to pieces. It would be really great to check and find little problems now before you write the whole story. Of course, it is up to you!

P



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 07:05 PM
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a reply to: HelenConway

I learned to write by example (for example, much of what you see in terms of stories by me is horror - What you don't see off the internet is that I have plenty of horror books in my collection, so I have plenty of reference material - what gives me the chills will most likely give others the chills as well).

Usually, I come out with a plot (there was a literary diagram called something like a "plot triangle", example here , to help with plot building).

In your case, why not start in a random spot? Sometimes, I will actually start a story in the middle or at the end, so that I know where I want the story to go; Starting somewhere apart from the beginning is interesting, because you can build up to the moment, or fade it away. You have the characters that will (presumably) be in the middle or a later segment. So, why not create the scenario there, and then build up to it? Or, start at the end, and then find a series of events to get the characters to that end?

Also, just a final note (for the moment) - You might also want to try writing out the story, and "forget" about it for a little bit; look at the story again a day, week, month, etc from now, and see if you still like what you read. If not, change it.

-fossilera



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