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-   -   How do you create a story? (http://forums.writersbeat.com/showthread.php?t=36587)

Nacia 03-01-2012 01:49 AM

How do you create a story?
 
This is my ideal way of constructing a story

for story A
a) I figure it all out in my head
b) I get a paper and a pencil and lay out character/plots/pictures or visuals /beginning/middles/various endings
c) Now with a pen and paper I jot down short prompts
an opening
a middles
possible endings
characters speicifications

d) still with a pen, a plan my next story , story B that will link up with story A.

In the background on a white board I will have clear goals that I will stick to in order to make my life easy as a writer
>Immortal characters
>No death
>No abbreviations/slang/rude language/no stream of consciousness/
>No prologues
>No stereotypes
There are more dos to add later on.:)
I will stick to this all the way through my writings for consistancy purposes.


How do you organise yours?

Louis 03-01-2012 02:30 AM

I start with a title.
Create the lead, the confidant, and the antagonist
I interview them and write copious notes about each one
They tell me who to introduce into the story
I write the story. A short story of 5 to 6 pages
Then i write a one paragraph synopsis
Then i write a one line synopsis
If i cant write a one liner, i trash the idea
Once the characters are in place i write and write without pause until the story is finished
Then i take a break maybe three weeks
Go back and reread out loud
Then start the self edit
Ruthless
Then post and or workshop the story
Re edit
My published novel took 22 rewrite
Eish!

Devon 03-01-2012 03:34 AM

I create a story by sitting down and writing it. Plain and simple. :D I deal with the details later.

heysamsays 03-01-2012 03:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Devon (Post 482147)
I create a story by sitting down and writing it. Plain and simple. :D I deal with the details later.

I like!

CandraH 03-01-2012 10:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Devon (Post 482147)
I create a story by sitting down and writing it. Plain and simple. :D I deal with the details later.

Me too. No white boards necessary. But, a whole lot of remedial work is.

Maybe I should be more anal initially...

AnyaKimlun 03-01-2012 11:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Devon (Post 482147)
I create a story by sitting down and writing it. Plain and simple. :D I deal with the details later.

This pretty much, I get a vague idea of a character and start writing to see what they do.

I keep questions like how can I make this worse or sillier in mind as I go.

jonparov 03-01-2012 11:25 AM

The majority of the time I will do some character exercises, try different points of view etc. To help me figure out the character and what i'm trying to express with the story. This often leads to areas of research, and i'll occasionally write an essay on the subject/subjects. Once I have it clear in my mind, I just write.

If it is a longer piece I sometimes break it down into acts, sequences, scenes, incidents/beats etc.

J.

P.S. Incidently OP, why do you not have any death or prologue?

Gaines 03-01-2012 11:58 AM

Start with a premise..sit down..hammer it out and edit later. Of course you could go to all the trouble of plotting and story boarding and playing connect the dots. In fact some of the worlds greatest artists did it that way. Did you know when workers were repairing the ceiling paint to the Sistine Chapel that under the old and peeling paint they found numbers.

Nacia 03-02-2012 12:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jonparov (Post 482226)
The majority of the time I will do some character exercises, try different points of view etc. To help me figure out the character and what i'm trying to express with the story. This often leads to areas of research, and i'll occasionally write an essay on the subject/subjects. Once I have it clear in my mind, I just write.

If it is a longer piece I sometimes break it down into acts, sequences, scenes, incidents/beats etc.
J.


Quote:

P.S. Incidently OP, why do you not have any death or prologue
Prologues prolong the start of a story which means it waste my time and I don't like the way it is laid out.
There is no point in having two entries when you can have one.
It is distracting because it does not fit in with the start of the first chapter.
One is written about something and the start is written about something else.
They do not link in words. I do not like to be kept thinking what this prologue is about. It is not my job to secdon guess.
It is my job to read and read straight away withouth any diddering about.
No death because my instinct is if I create something then I am not going to engage in destroying what I create.
Look at it this way
A painter paints various wors/create images he or she is not going to destroy one or two afterwards it does not make sense.
On this basis I follow suit, I keep what I create.
The second reason is this
When write my first story then in my second story and third story I will resurface few charcaters from say first and second story to write my third story.
Think of it as thread or as a circle
story one is circle on made of 5 characters
story two is circle two made out three characters
story three is a new circle made out of circle one and two meaning I have used the 5 characters and the three characters from both circles to create an eight character circle.
This is my new bigger circle and my new bigger thrid story
Then I will move on the next following stories doing exactly the same.
The idea is that once I create a circle/story then I should and will keep it.
This is what I call consistancy and creationism and link/thread throught out the stories. They are not sequels they are just all linked.
This to allow for easy/logical ideas to write.
You keep what you create and your creation lives on.
I hope this is not too confusing:D

kennyc 03-02-2012 01:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nacia (Post 482303)
...
I hope this is not too confusing:D

Hmmm....not sure exactly.....maybe if it had a prolog? :D

Nacia 03-02-2012 01:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kennyc (Post 482310)
Hmmm....not sure exactly.....maybe if it had a prolog? :D

Hum...ok how about a graph instead..lol:D

AnyaKimlun 03-02-2012 02:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nacia (Post 482134)
-
In the background on a white board I will have clear goals that I will stick to in order to make my life easy as a writer
>Immortal characters
>No death
>No abbreviations/slang/rude language/no stream of consciousness/
>No prologues
>No stereotypes
There are more dos to add later on.:)
I will stick to this all the way through my writings for consistancy purposes.


How do you organise yours?

I also don't have have any nos - my only no is what doesn't work for the character or story.

For me anyway a constriction like this would prevent the story from growing organically and close down areas of imagination. (I've employed all of your list in my stories. Stereotypes are useful to create a recognisable character).

JoeMatt 03-02-2012 07:06 AM

I plan my stories -- either in my head or in outline form - in varying degrees of detail. The implication that planning inhibits creativity or leads to something formulaic is nonsense. It just means that a lot of the creativity comes up front -- it's just as organic and would only be a problem if someone mindlessly stuck to the plan or outline, regardless. Otherwise -- to each his own. I really don't care much how other people do it -- it's all about the results.

kennyc 03-02-2012 07:19 AM

I've tried both the planning (outlining) way and the freewriting way as well as attempting to create characters first. The Character way has never seemed to work for me, but the first two have each worked and not worked on various occasions. So what is it I'm saying....I guess I don't really have a clue, but sometimes I muddle my way through, other times it a flash of inspiration and done.

CandraH 03-02-2012 07:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeMatt (Post 482378)
I plan my stories -- either in my head or in outline form - in varying degrees of detail. The implication that planning inhibits creativity or leads to something formulaic is nonsense. It just means that a lot of the creativity comes up front -- it's just as organic and would only be a problem if someone mindlessly stuck to the plan or outline, regardless. Otherwise -- to each his own. I really don't care much how other people do it -- it's all about the results.

Absolutely. How people go about their various processes isn't really that important, unless they feel the need to wax lyrical about it in the hope others will "thank" them for their sage words.

Of course, we're all in here waxing about our own processes so I'm painting myself with my own brush, heh.

I said I churn out my stories and think about the details later, and thats cool for shorts. But when it came to my novel, I needed a bit more structuring because without it I was wandering about aimlessly, trying to figure out what would happen next and who had done what and said what to who. I found in that instance an initial bit of planning and character investigation did wonders. I don't think I'd have ever finished the thing without it.

And now here I am trying to sort out the details afterwards. Again.

jonparov 03-02-2012 10:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nacia (Post 482303)
Prologues prolong the start of a story which means it waste my time and I don't like the way it is laid out.
There is no point in having two entries when you can have one.
It is distracting because it does not fit in with the start of the first chapter.
One is written about something and the start is written about something else.
They do not link in words. I do not like to be kept thinking what this prologue is about. It is not my job to secdon guess.
It is my job to read and read straight away withouth any diddering about.
No death because my instinct is if I create something then I am not going to engage in destroying what I create.
Look at it this way
A painter paints various wors/create images he or she is not going to destroy one or two afterwards it does not make sense.
On this basis I follow suit, I keep what I create.
The second reason is this
When write my first story then in my second story and third story I will resurface few charcaters from say first and second story to write my third story.
Think of it as thread or as a circle
story one is circle on made of 5 characters
story two is circle two made out three characters
story three is a new circle made out of circle one and two meaning I have used the 5 characters and the three characters from both circles to create an eight character circle.
This is my new bigger circle and my new bigger thrid story
Then I will move on the next following stories doing exactly the same.
The idea is that once I create a circle/story then I should and will keep it.
This is what I call consistancy and creationism and link/thread throught out the stories. They are not sequels they are just all linked.
This to allow for easy/logical ideas to write.
You keep what you create and your creation lives on.
I hope this is not too confusing:D

Thanks for the reply. Your circle of stories idea is certainly an interesting concept, it sounds a bit like a sliding doors idea.

Personally I like prologues but I can understand why some people don't. I enjoy the 'second guessing' as you call it.

On the death issue I don't really understand where you are coming from, surely the only way you could destroy your creation is by deleting the story? Death can define life, and has been one of the major themes in the history of literature.

Incidently there have been numerous artists who have destroyed there own work.

J.

Nacia 03-03-2012 12:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jonparov (Post 482405)
Thanks for the reply. Your circle of stories idea is certainly an interesting concept, it sounds a bit like a sliding doors idea.

Personally I like prologues but I can understand why some people don't. I enjoy the 'second guessing' as you call it.

Quote:

On the death issue I don't really understand where you are coming from, surely the only way you could destroy your creation is by deleting the story? Death can define life, and has been one of the major themes in the history of literature.

About 'no death of characters'
It just means that I have an open ending althoughto the reader it may appear as just the one ending.
If I kill a protagonist/antagonist/a character as a mean to an end to one story then it means I have limited myself in terms of another second/third/fourth / new ending.
This is how I have organised my aims in writing:

I have one start and one start only (no prologues in this case)
I have various endings (multiple endings) only one to the readers and the others to me to write with for more stories.

example:
This one ending to a story that the reader will receive in one book:

The moment has arrived to face one's doubts and tribulations. The only question left on Marcio's mind was would his environment, colleagues and family welcome this new addition.
Only time could tell.

In here Marcio is not removed from the story/killed to signify the end of the story.
Here Marcio lives on and the story conclude with a question mark type of ending.
'Only time could tell'

My possible second ending in this story could be this:
That time did tell and Marcio has in effect got to keep his new addition.

There are other more different possibilities.

But, there is always a but, and it is one obviousending a 'negating ending/or impossibility if you like.
Time did tell and Marcio did not manage to keep his new addition.

This is the exception to the rule, or the odd one out, which will not be taken on board because I write to achieve .
By this I mean I will not waste my time and breath writing about an idea that will in the end see my character failing or disappointed.
I write to keep all concepts formating and moving forward.
In other word failure is not an option.

And so my next story would begin with maybe a second ending but in a much more subtle way and not as obvious as first.
I don't know if this makes sense.

Quote:

Incidently there have been numerous artists who have destroyed there own work.
J.
Well if they have destroyed their own work then this is my take on it:
a) what it the point of if the end result is nothing to look at
b) they can't prove they have destroyed it for art's sake or because they did not think it was good enough. There is a fine line between lying and telling the truth.
This reminds of a clip I saw about this Japanese person who engaged in playing the piano whilst he set it in fire.
My first view on that was there is something seriously not right with this chap.
The programm did say it was art for art sake but unfortunately my first,my initial thought was oh dear/OMG is what I thought .
What I am trying to say here just because someone says this is for art sake does not mean I will see it that way too.

Nacia 03-03-2012 01:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Louis (Post 482139)
I start with a title.
Create the lead, the confidant, and the antagonist
I interview them and write copious notes about each one
They tell me who to introduce into the story
I write the story. A short story of 5 to 6 pages
Then i write a one paragraph synopsis
Then i write a one line synopsis
If i cant write a one liner, i trash the idea
Once the characters are in place i write and write without pause until the story is finished
Then i take a break maybe three weeks
Go back and reread out loud
Then start the self edit
Ruthless
Then post and or workshop the story
Re edit
My published novel took 22 rewrite
Eish!

Congratulations on your published novel.:)
Twnety two edits is a lot!!
What is your novel called and what genre?

Non Serviam 03-03-2012 07:51 AM

If I can't think of a story, I'll tend to start with an old (out-of-copyright) one and adapt it.

jonparov 03-03-2012 11:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nacia (Post 482474)
About 'no death of characters'
It just means that I have an open ending althoughto the reader it may appear as just the one ending.
If I kill a protagonist/antagonist/a character as a mean to an end to one story then it means I have limited myself in terms of another second/third/fourth / new ending.
This is how I have organised my aims in writing:

I have one start and one start only (no prologues in this case)
I have various endings (multiple endings) only one to the readers and the others to me to write with for more stories.

example:
This one ending to a story that the reader will receive in one book:

The moment has arrived to face one's doubts and tribulations. The only question left on Marcio's mind was would his environment, colleagues and family welcome this new addition.
Only time could tell.

In here Marcio is not removed from the story/killed to signify the end of the story.
Here Marcio lives on and the story conclude with a question mark type of ending.
'Only time could tell'

My possible second ending in this story could be this:
That time did tell and Marcio has in effect got to keep his new addition.

There are other more different possibilities.

But, there is always a but, and it is one obviousending a 'negating ending/or impossibility if you like.
Time did tell and Marcio did not manage to keep his new addition.

This is the exception to the rule, or the odd one out, which will not be taken on board because I write to achieve .
By this I mean I will not waste my time and breath writing about an idea that will in the end see my character failing or disappointed.
I write to keep all concepts formating and moving forward.
In other word failure is not an option.

And so my next story would begin with maybe a second ending but in a much more subtle way and not as obvious as first.
I don't know if this makes sense.


Well if they have destroyed their own work then this is my take on it:
a) what it the point of if the end result is nothing to look at
b) they can't prove they have destroyed it for art's sake or because they did not think it was good enough. There is a fine line between lying and telling the truth.
This reminds of a clip I saw about this Japanese person who engaged in playing the piano whilst he set it in fire.
My first view on that was there is something seriously not right with this chap.
The programm did say it was art for art sake but unfortunately my first,my initial thought was oh dear/OMG is what I thought .
What I am trying to say here just because someone says this is for art sake does not mean I will see it that way too.


Do all your stories feature the same characters? It seems very limiting to me.

Failure, dissappointment and death are all natural parts of human existence, to deny yourself them as themes surely makes your 'job', as a writer, more difficult. One of the pleasures readers get from fiction is catharsis, the release of repressed emotions - the type of which are usually negative, such as dissappointment, fear of failure or death. Perhaps I'm biased as two of my favourite novels are Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina!

Btw I hope it doesn't come across that i'm telling you how to write, they're your stories and I hope they work out for you, I'm just curious thats all.

horsewriter 07-20-2012 11:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Devon (Post 482147)
I create a story by sitting down and writing it. Plain and simple. :D I deal with the details later.

Me too. I just sit down grab a pencil or pen and some paper and go to town. The details will always come as the story goes. :)

kennyc 07-20-2012 11:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by horsewriter (Post 515251)
Me too. I just sit down grab a pencil or pen and some paper and go to town. The details will always come as the story goes. :)

I guess that's what I need to do, cause I'm not doing a lot of good at the moment. :D
I used to be able to do that, I will again.

Dela Eden 07-24-2012 12:13 PM

I don't. My novel creates me. It's irritating, but it works, and I'm proud of my characters and the way they lead their story and shape my personality as they grow. I do new things occasionally because my characters have changed me.

LoneWolf93 08-17-2012 02:06 PM

I pretty much just day dream until an idea I like comes to me, then I start writing. If I'm not "feeling" the story, I trash it and start over. Once I'm comfortable with the story I'm writing, I make detailed notes on characters, settings and the plot in general and then I write. It may not seem like much of a system but it's worked so far and has helped me produce three novels, so I'm happy with it. :) x

Winged-Walls 03-22-2013 02:15 PM

I keep a pool of interesting characters and amore or less detailed description of them.

When I think of a premise or concept for a story, I pick a few characters from said pool that I think would fit, and then I brainstorm. Which usually means I frantically write every single idea that comes to me in no particular order, filling pages and pages of notes - fun! Then I try to organise these notes into a coherent story, eleminating the things that make no sense and identifying the problems I need to solve and characters I need to add. Ensues a preliminary outline - less fun.

Then I flesh out my characters. This takes me ages because I refuse to start writing until I feel like every single character could be a real person.

Once I do start writing, I don't write it in order. I've tried, but it just doesn't seem to work for me. I always start with the beginning, but then I just write random scenes as they come to me. Filling the rest in is generally the hard part.

pompears 11-14-2013 10:01 PM

i never tried writing a story yet because i dont know how and where to begin with. i used to write in several blog sites and it is totally a different procedure in creating a story. with your shared posts here, i think i can start learning and maybe later i can create my own story. thanks for sharing.

egrizzly 02-11-2014 03:03 AM

I'd have to say I'm like JoeMatt. The outline is how my stories have been built. Gotta also throw the fact that for the good stories a dose of creative thoughts surges through my mind. I tend to write these down, stow them away, then pull'em out and put down the outline. Those bulletpoints are kind of what I tee off of. It's the interstate of the story.

thewordsmith 02-11-2014 10:45 AM

Wow! This seems like so much work. I don't start writing until I know what I'm writing about but... that's usually like lightning. The tiniest little thing can trigger an idea, the 'great what if' which is almost immediately answered by, 'this is what', 'and this', 'and that, too!'

So, basically, I start with a pretty fully-conceived idea. I have my MC (or two), the antagonist, what's the primary hurdle, issue, problem to be resolved, and how it ends. Then, I only have to figure out how he/she/they get from page one, through the few bits I've drawn for the middle, to 'the end'. That sometimes means I have to throw out or revise some ideas I started with, I also once had to eliminate a character whom I really enjoyed but discovered he had encroached on the wrong story. (He's lurking in my computer somewhere waiting for his 'big chance'.) That meant I had to tear out three chapters, filter them for what I needed to keep and then re-assem...

Hmm. I guess that's a lot of work, too, Boils down to whether you want to shovel gravel, sand, or snow, huh?

NokturnalMe 02-11-2014 12:44 PM

I usually start with the climax scene, and write around that.
My characters are always from a female, first party perspective.
The title is last.

Tadpolle 02-23-2014 08:17 PM

Here's the process:

I find inspiration. For me, this can mean watching a TV show or playing a video game. Usually my inspiration comes in the form of characters, not plot; typically the plots of stories inspired by other works have very little to do with the source material.

Over the course of days, weeks, months, I let it boil until it bubbles over the rim of my own consciousness. I think about it -- just think, never writing anything down-from morning til night. I let the scenes play out like in a movie, never thinking about how something would be written or if it would work but only letting it happen and watching the drama as it unfolds. Then, when I have the first dream (as my stories always enter my dreams after a while of just thinking about them), I start putting it to paper.

I spend a few weeks capturing the first scene. That first scene is what, for me, gets the ball rolling and defines the rest of the work. The words spill out onto the page and get drawn back again until the splotches look like something recognizable when compared to those movie scenes that first occupied my mind, and then the rest comes pouring out.

Then the title. Typically, the title is what's been on the tip of my tongue and what my entire story revolves around and what's been haunting my waking and unconscious dreams since I started this endeavor, but then when it finally escapes my mouth it sounds nothing like what I had imagined and that's the best thing ever.


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