How do you start writing?

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How do you start writing?

Post  DaAlCh on Tue Feb 26, 2008 8:52 pm

The full title of this topic should be: "How Do You Like to Start Writing a Book." But I thought that would be just a wee bit too long.

Basically, I've noticed it is really hard for me to start writing with the prologue, or chapter one for that matter. I find that (for me) I can get my thoughts out easier if I begin writing at the most vivid scene or section of the story. That usually ends up being around the middle of the story, because at that point, things are constantly happening. Which allows me to continue writing easily, instead of trying to come up with an interesting way to open the book so that the reader won't lose interest. Then I go back to the beginning after I am finished with the end.

How is it for you?
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Re: How do you start writing?

Post  Benjamin A. Fleming on Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:28 am

I personally start out with an idea, then build around it, and write it down in an outline form. Once I finish with that, and divide it all up into chapters, I try to start from the beginning and work my way to the end, but occasionally I will get inspiration to write a certain part.

It all depends really on how I'm feeling that day.
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Re: How do you start writing?

Post  Axel3419 on Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:49 pm

I have to have some sort of inspiration. then after I have an Idea i think "How should I start?" and then I try as hard as i can to begin. If it doesnt work Ill have to plan out the entire story until Im satisfied and I can begin.
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Re: How do you start writing?

Post  Robino~567 on Fri Feb 29, 2008 10:26 pm

I have to say that I wouldn't be of much help as I just got a really good idea for a book…yet i don't have a fucking clue how to finish plaining or how to start it..
Ahh, well.
I'll learn from this topic. What a Face

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Re: How do you start writing?

Post  Benjamin A. Fleming on Fri Feb 29, 2008 10:33 pm

Well, what seems to be the problem, Z?

*wraps string around finger to remind myself to add fucking to list of words that need modding lol*
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Re: How do you start writing?

Post  EmbryH on Sat Mar 01, 2008 6:23 pm

Once I'm struck by inspiration and put together a general story line, I'll go and right down one scene from the story. Then, I make an outline and work from beginning to end, though I will sometimes write a rough draft of other scenes. I also make Character bios, if I'm not too lazy about it.

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Re: How do you start writing?

Post  Agent Smith on Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:10 pm

I usually sit outside with my laptop handy and open a blank Works Document. From there, I mix the ideas I have with the various environments near my house. From there, I explore my mind for the rest. I remember, I wrote this for a Myspace blog I posted. I believe it fits here:




You know, I often find myself at a lack for ideas for stories and things of that nature. I often loose sight of that one train of thought that I have been following for the past hour or so. When I delve into my mind, I find a cluttered mess of lost ideas, ideas I couldn’t out to proper use, and festering, dark thoughts. But the light of my good ideas are no where to be found. Where is the spark? Where is the light-bulb hovering over my head? Did it die? Did it burn out? Did it get replaced with a candle I have yet to light? Ideas don’t just disappear, it’s kind of like saying that nothing just happens at random. I believe in fate, and fate has been very kind to me. Of course, one knows not what is around the corner.

I have conversed with many writers over the years. I almost always ask them this at one time or another: Where do you get the spark for your ideas? Now, every writer has a different answer. One suggests life. Find something in your life and find its meaning, then dissect it, examine it, and use it. Well, as I look at my life, I find nothing that has given me the spark for my ideas. Another suggests the spark is always there, but whether or not we can see it is an entirely different story. I look and, nope, the spark is definitely not there, my ideas continue to be lost in the dark recesses of my mind. Another suggests that I cannot see the spark since my mind happens to be so cluttered. I have thought about it, and examined that that could very well be a possibility for my dilemma. But there is one other possibility that some consider entirely farfetched. Inspiration.

This is what I have found on inspiration:

1. Stimulation to do creative work:
Stimulation for the human mind to creative thought or to the making of art

2. Somebody or Something that inspires:
Somebody or something that inspires somebody to creative thought or to the making of art.

3. Creativeness:
The quality of being stimulated to creative thought or activity, or the manifestation of this.

4.Good Idea:
A sudden brilliant idea.

5. Divine Influence:
Divine guidance and influence on human being.


Well, I don’t believe in divine influence. Creativeness? Where do I get creative? A good idea can also be asked by: Well, where do I get the good idea? Stimulation to do creative work? What is the stimulation? The world around me? Sorry, but I don’t see anything that could inspire me in this place that surrounds me. The only option that I can see viable is: Somebody or something that inspires. Notice I put special emphasis on “Somebody”. Why? You’ll find out.

I often catch myself staring at the girl across the hall. Her smile is the first thing that grabs my attention. It is enough to light up a darkened room. Then, I notice her eyes, soft and heartening, like a fire on a bitter day. They compliment the smile perfectly. I often catch myself staring at the girl across the hall, and bam, the spark is back. I suddenly find myself in the middle of the many fantastical cities that I have created. I see myself beside the hero, aiding his quest for changing the world, or saving it. I find myself viewing the many magnificent vistas of the colorful worlds I have made. I can see the subtle politics I have crafted and know that I, and I alone, can shift these to bring ruin or salvation, hope or fear.

I know that I can single-handedly alter the course of an entire world with just a slip of my wrist with my pencil on paper. I know that I alone know all and see all in this mysterious yet colorful world. I can see the true intentions of the people around my character I have created; I can see their future, and their past.

I often see myself staring at the girl across the hall, and I find that the spark that powers my mind is back. I fixate my mind on her for as long as I can, and nothing seems to go wrong, in the real world or my world. As long as I can see her, my well of ideas will never run dry. She is my inspiration. She is my world. Without her, my world would cease to exist, and my writings would be reduced from those of a genius mind, to those of a mind filled with mediocrity. I can only hope that that will never happen. As long as I have her in my mind, no one can take my world away from me. If you have read everything up until this point, I come with a challenge:

Life isn’t all fun and games. Life presents its own challenges and one such challenge comes from me. Examine you life and your mind, and figure out what is your source of inspiration. I know mine. I often find myself staring at the girl across the hall, and she gives me hope that my life in the real world, and in the worlds I create will continue on the path towards prosperity. As long as she remains in my mind, they will.

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Re: How do you start writing?

Post  Axel3419 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 9:22 pm

wow. that was really great ^^
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Re: How do you start writing?

Post  Agent Smith on Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:15 pm

Thanks. I got the exact same reaction on Myspace and from one of my best friends.

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Re: How do you start writing?

Post  Benjamin A. Fleming on Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:30 am

Yea, Agent, that was really good. Do you think I could put that in its own thread and sticky it?
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Re: How do you start writing?

Post  Agent Smith on Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:37 pm

I guess. I don't regard it as the best thing I wrote. It is one of my least favs, but it fit the situation perfectly.

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Re: How do you start writing?

Post  Chata on Wed Mar 05, 2008 11:40 pm

I liked that a lot, Agent. It was very helpful.

I was speaking with Scott Carpenter, one of my dad's friends from high school and author of Mr. Undesirable. This was a method that he said he likes to use to start and plan a story.

"You get a giant pad of newsprint paper. Draw a line across the bottom of the page, long ways. The far left side is the beginning of your story, the far right is the end. How do you want to start? Draw a line up and write a brief note on what happens. How does it end? Draw a line to that brief note. About 3/4 of the way, maybe the cowboy needs to discover the alien ship in the sand, so you make a note of that. Maybe 1/2 way that cowboy had to have a reason to be out in the desert in the place. Just throw your parts down roughly in the order they need to be in to get you from start to finish. You'll have huge blank spaces between your notes. That's where all the fun is. You can be spontaneous and have fun with what you're writing, but still have enough of a plan so as not to be totally lost in chapter 10 when you've painted yourself into a corner."

I haven't used it yet, but I think I am going to, once I get all my research done for this story that I want to write.
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Re: How do you start writing?

Post  Magmedite on Fri Mar 07, 2008 10:48 pm

Expose yourself to a lot of media. Read a lot of books, watch movies, play video games. Anything that has a story, go for it. A lot of people think you can just pick up the pencil and immediately a story comes to mind out of thin air. This is usually not true. Exposing yourself to this stuff will give you something to work with because you can't create something from nothing. This gives your mind ideas to work and play with. And when your brain does create something good from that stuff, that's where you go "AH! that's a great idea!" The larger the background of stories, the more you'll find it's easier to come up with your own stuff. The smaller your background, the more you'll notice that your own writing is just a copy of the stuff you've read. So get out there and read!

My own writing process works something like this:

It usually starts with a strong feeling or emotion. Like this series I'm planning right now, the feeling was that I wanted to go on my own fantasy adventure. That feeling becomes the essence of the story I'm creating. Everything else builds up from that. It is the seed that starts to sprout.

Once I have that emotion, I start thinking of scenes that express this emotion. Like for my fantasy series, the first scene I ever thought of was a school bus crashed on it's side in another world and the surviving kids are trying to find their way home. When I started writing however, the overall story changed very drastically and this scene has been cut from my overall mental outline.

Once I have a few scenes, my mind starts to connect them into some overall story. I try to figure out how my characters get to the scene they're in and where it's going to go from there. Like with my fantasy series, I was reading Pendragon and I really liked the idea of separate worlds. So I started thinking why my characters would do that and thought "well they're trying to save the world of course" and slowly my mind fills in the blank spaces with an overall plot and more scenes. After a few months of growing, I also usually think up some ways I could end the story. With my fantasy, I have two endings in mind with me leaning towards one more than the other, but until I get to that point in my writing, they're both equally possible.

Then I start writing and connecting all of those scenes I have in my head. Those blank spaces in between scenes are usually where I find myself getting stuck because I'm not really sure what I want to do with it. So it can be very slow work for me. Combine this with my laziness and it's not unusual for me to leave an unfinished draft alone for months at a time with no writing in between. This is also why I haven't finished any story longer than ten pages except for one. And the one I did finish, Charley, needs to be rewritten anyway.

And because I've only really finished one story that really matters to me, I haven't really explored the area of writing after you finish the first draft.
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Re: How do you start writing?

Post  Benjamin A. Fleming on Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:15 am

Personally, when I'm in a good writing mode, I will go for a walk, have a smoke, anything to just let my mind wander. Because once it starts wandering, the storyline that I'm working on begins to fit together in my mind, transforming before my minds eye, becoming that which I will then go back to my computer and type.
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Re: How do you start writing?

Post  Axel3419 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:36 pm

cool Very Happy

when I write.. it just comes to me. I use a mixture of my mind and my hands to create what i want to say.I dont know how to describe it. Alot of times, I just spin around in a spinny chair thinking of what will happen. I love writing because I get to control the action. I get to control the emotions. I get to control... life.
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Re: How do you start writing?

Post  Xanath on Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:47 am

The way I started writing is that, while listening to my iPod, I come up with the general Idea and just make it up as I go along. SOmehow though, it generally flows and even though I make it up as I go, it actually seems planned. Hmmm

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Re: How do you start writing?

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