Starting a story?

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Starting a story?

Post by Zerifachias on Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:50 pm

Here are some helpful hints to get you going!

DETAILS!

Details are probably the most important thing in creating a story. Describe everything that goes on! Even if the main character is picking his nose! What color goober came out? Was it thin and stretchy? Or wide and flat?

Disgusting topics aside, if you're ever having trouble with describing something, use this here guideline to help you figure out what to do next:

1. What is your main character's name?
Every character needs a name, so who is the story about? Who's life is it circled around? And to help decide what to write about: What does he/she look like? Are they insane or intelligent? What's their personality like? Do they have friends? How does the character act in front of his/her friends? Family? Pets?

This is a very useful guide to getting started, but don't do too many descriptions or you might accidentally bore your readers.

2. What time period does the story take place? What events are going on at the moment?
Pretty much self-explanatory here. Be careful not to do too much of this, readers would like to know what the story is about.

3. Will there be bloodshed?
If there is, it would be wise to show that early-on in the story. I think you should show that the story will become violent as the story progresses. A lot of readers might not like to read violence, so it would be best if you told them early-on to avoid unnecessary feelings of frustration.

I'll add more later as I continue to think about it. Hope this helped! ^^
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Re: Starting a story?

Post by VIII Redeta on Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:49 pm

If I may add to this guide?
---Character Development---

Begin by asking your character as many superfluous questions as you can. What does he like to eat? Where does he like to hang out? Who does he like the most out of his friends? What is his favorite color?

How does this help? I'll use my beloved Matthias as an example. (Steal him and I'll haunt your soul through Heaven and Hell.)

What does Matthias like to eat?
- He likes to eat fish and pasta.

Where does he like to hang out?
- He likes going to taverns.

Who does he like the most out of his friends?
- Frederic.

What's his favorite color?
- Red.

Now then... what can I infer from all this information?
From his food, Matthias is a simple individual and not too difficult to please. He prefers practicality over beauty.
From his hang out, you know that Matthias is 1) of age, 2) a confident man, 3) surprisingly social.
From his friends, Matthias gets along with calm, responsible people and likes having someone compliment his fiery personality.
From his favorite color; red is the color of passion. As such, Matthias is very passionate about the things he cares for.

See how asking your character questions helps you develop a person?
It's a fun little exercise I employ. May it serve you well.
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Re: Starting a story?

Post by Zerifachias on Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:27 pm

I finally figured it out.

How to keep a story fresh and interesting for both the writer and the reader.

First, like any sort of composition, you are supposed to plan out everything that out need for it. An outline, if you will. Take each chapter and outline it, give each chapter significance. If you were to write it down on a notebook, short chapters, like the prologue, would take up an entire page, maybe a little less. For other longer chapters, like the climaxing chapters, two, three, or even four pages of an outline will be needed to cover all the basic information.

After creating the outline, fill out the details of the story. But don't concern yourself with the advanced editing yet, that comes later. Make a rough draft of your work. This should take you less time than the outline, and if not, you might not have provided enough information in the outline. Make sure you end the chapters. There's nothing wrong with a one or a half-page chapter.

When you finish your rough draft, proofread it for any grammar or spelling mistakes. Then you can begin the editing. Polish up that chapter where Charlie and Susanna went to the musical at their high school. Make sure Mary and Alex are fully aware that they are being spied on by their friends, George, Ronnie, and Hannah, as they go get ice cream together. In fact, make it painfully obvious. Give the female thief, Rosa, a background, and maybe add a chapter, just for her. Tell the reader why Rosa became a thief, and what happened after she got caught and thrown in jail.

Once you're done with the first round of editing, proofread it for any missed punctuation marks or misused words. You might have used they're instead of their, and those two words have very different meanings. Once you are absolutely sure that you didn't miss anything, read your work, as if you were the reader, not the writer.

If you end up being satisfied, then great! Now retype it and turn it into a final draft. If you have a English professor with a Ph.D in English, show him/her your story. He/she can give you criticism that you didn't even think about, so your writing can become even more polished. In fact, show your story to as many professors as you can. Hell, show it to your math teacher! You might have missed something when Jennifer was calculating the square root of 196, which is really 14 and not 13.

Once you are satisfied with your work, take a break, don't look at it for awhile. After a day or two, pick it up again and read it over. You might be inspired by another brilliant idea, like making Naomi and Brian end up falling in love while they watch a movie, "The Blind Side" together. If you don't want to make any more editing, then you can send it off to the publisher, or show it off to your friends and family.

Everyone, please know that this will take you a very long time, and you may end up with 7 false drafts for every chapter. Even professional writers have littered desks and overflowing trash bins! Writing is a skill, so practice is needed in order for you to be able to write proficiently and clearly. Develop your own writing style, because that is something you can do in writing, but never in Math or Science. The beauty of prose is the wide variety of writing styles, which all differ from one to the other in some way, shape, or form.

Thanks for reading. Now it's time to make that story of that group of kids from high school who explore the world and it's large variety of options!
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