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buryuntime
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19 Jan 2010, 9:06 pm

Two things come to mind:

1. Plot
2. Characters

Thinking up characters seems very easy for me... plot not so much. How do you come up with a plot, subplots? And am I forgetting another major point?



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19 Jan 2010, 9:38 pm

There's a bit more to it than that. I mean, those are the basics, but theme, structure, et.c.. can be quite important if you want to write something more than a yarn of randomness. You can get a plot from exploring a premise, exploring a character, or exploring a theme. The most impactful kind of stories tend to have the plot grow out of both theme, character, and premise. I'd recommend reading some books or blogs on writing, or watching lectures you might find on dvd's or possibly the web. But of course, writing yarns of random is a perfectly good place to start. To come up with a basic plot, if you already have a character, you can think about what that character needs, what's keeping your character from getting that, and try to build something out of that.


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MissConstrue
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19 Jan 2010, 9:55 pm

Well for me I just write out words that come to mind and then scenarios.

For instance: Tragedy, happiness, loss, confusion, mental illness, progress, fear, sadness..etc.

After that I think of what characters may be involved: Wife, husband, sister, brother, doctor, policeman, typist, father, mother...etc.

You can also come up with little scenarios and ideas: someone died and left a family or mysterious box that was delivered at the door, or someone just got married.

One thing you want to do is write, no matter how immature it looks. After you start writing, some of the ideas connect like dots. You just keep writing and then have someone give you some ideas. Then start revising and looking over what you want to add or take out. See how it looks and then have someone who's good at the technicalities of grammar look over it with you. Unless of course you have a computer that does most of the revising for you.

This is coming from an amature writer btw so I'm just starting out myself.


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19 Jan 2010, 10:19 pm

Yeah, stories (especially larger works) are more than just plot and characters. You have to have the appropriate settings. Themes, it really depends on what you are going for.

As for examples, I can provide a few, but it is a bit easier to provide examples from something i am actually working on.

How ive developed mine, I chose a theme (conflict over genetic modification and cultural/sociological impact of it. That is just one of MANY themes within it however). I then made a setting that fit into what I was going for (Its more of a fusion of utopia and dystopia, wrapped up in one unique package, this too is over simplified of an explanation but it works for examples). Then I did the character creation last, made them fit into particular roles in the story, fleshed out their personalities and whatnot.

Best word of advice, experiment with different approaches when it comes to coming up with ideas and brainstorming/just laying out the story in general. Once ya find a method that works for you, stick with it. Dont give up and all that.


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MikeyPikey92
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19 Jan 2010, 10:22 pm

Try the complete opposite of whatever you might think is good. Innovation is the only way to be a true artist.



buryuntime
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19 Jan 2010, 10:29 pm

I am starting to get the picture, so to speak. I am not sure how I missed theme and setting. Added a few more too.

My new list:

1. Themes
2. Setting
3. Plot
a. sublots
4. Characters
a. what point of view?
5. Emotions
6. Detail
a. Small facts and details.
7. Progression
a. Character progression/growth.
8. Try new things, experiment.

anything else of help to add, or anything to exclude?



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19 Jan 2010, 10:39 pm

Genre might be worth thinking of, though the most interesting types of genre stories are those that mix genres and/or subvert what you expect from the genre in question.


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DemonAbyss10
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19 Jan 2010, 11:07 pm

also learn to surf www.tvtropes.org

plenty of info there that can be of use to ya, especially when you want to learn character types and such (yes, definately want to avoid mary sue/stu type characters.)


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19 Jan 2010, 11:12 pm

DemonAbyss10 wrote:
also learn to surf www.tvtropes.org

But beware of its addictiveness! Seriously, that site has so much cross-referencing that a quick glance can turn into an all-night surfathon.


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Magnus
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19 Jan 2010, 11:13 pm

I think the key ingredients are:

There needs to be a love interest, and there needs to be a conflict in the main character.


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19 Jan 2010, 11:19 pm

Magnus wrote:
There needs to be a love interest

No. Just...no. If it doesn't serve the story or theme, do not try to cram in a love interest just for the sake of having a love interest. Same goes for any kind of character or subplot: if it doesn't tie in with the story or theme, do not force it into the story. It will only clutter it. In a romantic story, there needs to be a love interest, yes, but not all stories are romantic stories.


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19 Jan 2010, 11:22 pm

Name 3 great novels that did not contain a love interest, and then name 3 novels that do contain a love interest. It's much easier to think of stories that have a love interest so the odds are better that you would write a better story if you have a romantic theme tied into it.


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buryuntime
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19 Jan 2010, 11:33 pm

Magnus wrote:
Name 3 great novels that did not contain a love interest, and then name 3 novels that do contain a love interest. It's much easier to think of stories that have a love interest so the odds are better that you would write a better story if you have a romantic theme tied into it.

I know nothing OF romance. I don´t think my story will involve much romance, but thank you for the note. I will add "love interest" under Emotions.

And thanks for the link. I can see how this can be addicting.



DemonAbyss10
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20 Jan 2010, 12:30 am

Magnus wrote:
Name 3 great novels that did not contain a love interest, and then name 3 novels that do contain a love interest. It's much easier to think of stories that have a love interest so the odds are better that you would write a better story if you have a romantic theme tied into it.


correllation =/= causation, or something like that :P its just a coincidence.

Romance in my story isnt part of the theme really, although it will be hinted at that 2 characters like eachother. Im not going all out sex scenes... just no... (why do I feel like saying sissy romance storys are for women :/ and im not meaning offense about it.)


and yeah vance, tvtropes is worse than crack. I surf it all night at least once a week. They do have a fairly large aspie population as well from what I have seen. They even have a topic on it.


you should also learn about mary sue characters and how they are rediculously annoying. look up mary sue litmus test sometime. My characters are about as non-sueish as you can get, other than the one villain perhaps, but thats because he is a pretty-boy/neitsche-wannabe/magnificent Bastard


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Vince
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20 Jan 2010, 12:43 am

Magnus wrote:
Name 3 great novels that did not contain a love interest, and then name 3 novels that do contain a love interest. It's much easier to think of stories that have a love interest so the odds are better that you would write a better story if you have a romantic theme tied into it.

Just because you only read romance novels doesn't mean all novels are romance novels. And all stories aren't novels either. There are short stories, stageplays, radioplays, screenplays, teleplays, fables, fairy tales, folk tales, myths, legends, comic books, all sorts of things. Yes, romantic love is a powerful emotion, and thus a very popular one to write about, but there is not a rule that says every story (or even novel) must feature it. Hunger can also be a very powerful feeling, but that doesn't mean every story must feature it.


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