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Mister MasterSo I have a problem. To put it bluntly, I never actually write anything. Like, at all. I'll come up with a concept, it'll float around in my head for a few months and then I'll just lose interest in it. Often it's because I couldn't think of anything interesting to do with it, or a way to turn it from a vague concept into an actual story. So, I'm sure this is kind of a stupid question, but what do you guys generally do in this situation? How do you go about outlining stories and developing them in your heads? Charts, summaries? Just out of curiosity.
Runs on AwesomenessWell, I start out with a one sentence pitch to myself, to see if the concept sounds viable: "Two downtrodden girls escape from tyranny into a world of magic." From there I come up with a short summary, anywhere from a few paragraphs to about two pages. This sets up character names, major conflicts (in my case, the conflict is not actually getting to the magical world, it's what happens once they get there), etc. For me, that got the basics in place, then I had to start world building and setting up rules. Now I'm working on a chapter-by-chapter outline before I actually sit down and start writing the book. Dunno if that helps, just some thoughts.
No one believes me when I say angels can turn their panties into guns.
Ahr riverI wrote an outline once. It turned into 60100 words. Write whatever you feel like. If you just wanna write a scene of dialogue, or a fight scene, do that, so you can get your land legs exercised.
I sometimes outline, sometimes not. Some of my stories naturally come with a clear plot, others I'm basically flying blind, only knowing what'll happen a scene or two ahead. The ones with a clear plot I might outline, or I might just write them and keep the outline in my head.
If I'm asking for advice on a story idea, don't tell me it can't be done.
Stayin' AliveI have the same problem, but I don't really outline things much. Or at least not from start to finish — at most I'll usually only plan a vague outline a chapter off from what I'm actually writing, with a few ideas for how things will turn out down the road. But anyways, generally speaking I think "Why am I not writing this right now?", and if the answer has something to do with the story itself, I try to pinpoint the exact problem I have and attempt to fix it, or maybe bypass it. The fix changes from story to story though, so I don't really have a standard way of dealing with things other than that. I do have problems that pop up continuously, like needing to better lay out character personalities and motivations, or planning the set up for the conflict, but they don't really have a set answer ether.
turning and turningStart by summing up your main concept, then expand it into a few paragraphs, with some details on the characters and plot. After that, you can either do some more character/world building or just write a complete plot outline and go from there. It helps to do it gradually. I don't know about other people, but I could never just sit down and write out a one-page summary of the plotline of a full-length novel.
Scepticism and doubt lead to study and investigation, and investigation is the beginning of wisdom.
- Clarence Darrow
I agree with those saying start with a basic concept, and build on it. I myself have a mind map which I've blu-tac'd to my wall. On it I've put a basic arrangement of the characters I wanted to write about and their initial situation, then I've built around them as the plot manifests.
Sneaky BastardI generally let an idea simmer for a while in my brain. This is just to make sure all the bad ideas die horribly before I ever put fingers to keyboard. If an idea survives this I'll usually have a bunch of scenes and a basic idea of where my plot is going to go. Then I sit down with a block of lined paper and write down they key scenes I need to make this work. I only use single sentences and I put them centred on the page. Then I go down a few centimetres and write the next one. I now know in what order those scenes will come, but I do not know what will come between them. That is something I'll find out as I go along. I make sure to leave plenty of free space on each page. This way I'll have room to make some notes if I get a good idea.
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