Wednesday, December 21, 2011

12/21/2011 Writing Wedneday!

Welcome back! Congratulations on making it to the middle of the work-week. I have received my new glasses, and though looking at a computer monitor is (strangely) fine, it's when I look away the world looks strange. Yay for transitioning time!

Today I thought I would talk about starting a story from scratch. This is often both the easiest and hardest portions of the work since obviously you have some sort of idea or else you wouldn't be thinking 'Maybe I should write a book!', but you know there are things like characters, plot progression, character progression, and such that need to be done as well.

Sometimes I wonder what's more important to start with; characters or plot? Today we are going to start with plot, since the character need to fit in somewhere (but for those who disagree, characters also progress some aspects of the plot, I understand they are equally important, but I needed to start with something, and plot won the dice-toss.)

Now then, for your story-to-be, you already have something along of lines of 'These characters are like this, then something happens, and they have to go do this thing too!' That's pretty much the basic plot to most movies/books/TV shows/everything ever. That's the standard three-part writing style, so that's cool. What you need to do is make sure your plot is as original as possible, or if it's something standard, make it work in such a way that grabs the attention of anyone looking at it.

Since you have your basic one-sentence description of what your future plot is, now it's time to figure out how things will progress. This includes the pace you want the story to flow in, so you need to decide if you want it to be short or full novel length. A lot of stories can work out just fine on a shorter scale, so don't feel the need to make everything an epic novel length, it's not always necessary. If you want things to be a fast pace 'every scene opens with an explosion!' kind of story, you're likely going to want to go for something a bit shorter, because there's only so many times you can do that and have your readers take you seriously.

Once you have your basic plot and pacing figured out, now it's time to do an outline, it's hard to do that without characters, so right now just take basic forms of them like 'main protagonist' and so forth and put them into your outline so you know where they're going to fit. If you know how they are going to be effecting the plot, it'll be easier to incorporate the details with them later.

Something else you will be forced to do, if you're writing a story from scratch and not using today-time Earth as your basis is world creation. You need to figure out the rules your universe plays by, which would include but aren't limited to: magic vs technology, man vs alien, man vs animal, man vs man, man vs magic, and man vs technology. For instance, your world has technology rather than magic, humans are the major force in the galaxy as compared to other alien races (not to say they aren't there), man still uses animals for domestication purposes, but the animal population is diminishing because of ecosystem destruction, the humans are at war with each other are are in 3 factions, there are a handful of people who use an ancient art to live their lives that could be called magic, and humans are relying on technology to do almost everything, but there are some groups of AI that have started to demand rights.

I hope this helps, at least to a point. Next week will be about characters, so that will be lots of fun, I love character development, I'm a total sucker for it. Also remember, with so little time left before Christmas and other Holidays, "The Light Rises" is still free to my blog readers with coupon code: UQ59B from Smashwords. Happy Holidays to all, and to my Jewish readers, happy first day of Chanukah! I'll see you all Friday!

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