Author Topic: Your order of creation  (Read 3440 times)

Offline Dean

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Your order of creation
« on: July 24, 2013, 03:36:28 PM »
So, first a vague premise is seeded in your mind. Maybe from reading a newspaper article, or a friendly debate you had, or maybe it just came to you. The end result is the same; you have a story idea and you want to flesh it out.

Where do you go from there? Do you begin with the characters, or the settings? Do you start crafting the plot first and then think what sort of characters would serve it best? What order do you think works best?

Offline 2par

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Re: Your order of creation
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2013, 03:52:49 PM »
That's all too robotic for me. Figure out why you got that idea and what you'd like to say. Then you'll have to figure out how you want to say it. That's what brings in the types of characters or situations or event that can help you say it.

Offline ChrisHarrison

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Re: Your order of creation
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2013, 04:17:15 PM »
I can never remember where the initial seed of the idea comes from, but usually a song prompts a gaseous cloud of ideas to condense. With my last novel the idea came from the name of the band at the centre of it all. (It wasn't even the original name, that was too offensive.) But once I had the name I wrote a fictitious Wikipedia article and made it all up from scratch in one afternoon in one go. I followed that with an essay, then a fictitious blog and then the novel came out of it all at the end. It was only after the first draft that I sat down and analysed it to try and figure out what on earth it was meant to be about. The second draft was almost unrecognisable.

I think as 2par says if you know the concept, the message you want to tell, everything else will form around it naturally and become the vehicle through which the story is told. You start with a wide vision, then zoom in to the detail, then zoom out again to check it, then zoom back in for more detail. Or that's how I do it. Everyone's different aren't they?

Offline Gyppo

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Re: Your order of creation
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2013, 07:46:26 PM »
Sometimes I can look back and see where the idea came from, or where two odd thoughts collided and created something new.

For me it usually starts with a character, or a disembodied line of dialogue pops into my head which prompts me to ask "Who said that?"

One year, for the NANO novel in a month competition I deliberately refused to think about it until the last minute.  At the stroke of midnight on October 31st all I had was a post it note with three words.  Speed, motorcycles, candyfloss.  I had a vague idea about a storyline with a female wall of death rider.

In the end I dropped the candyfloss and wrote 50,000 words about a female motorbike restorer and a record attempt.

By quarter past midnight Sam(antha) was real to me as any other of my characters, although it took a while to truly discover what made her tick.  Now that first draft has taken a background place to more pressing matters, but she's never truly gone away.  Persistence is the mark of a good character.  If they won't leave you alone, you have to write about them.

Gyppo

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Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: Your order of creation
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2013, 08:26:27 PM »
I don't think in the realm of writing it makes any difference where or how the idea originated. That's why when a phrase, character or the vision of a location pops into my head, I stop and make notes about it. Sometimes they grow into something more. Other times they sit there, staring back at me every time I open the folder where they rest.

It's the notes that take hold and refuse to turn me loose until I do my best at bringing them to life that keep me making more and more notes about those odd and often disconnected things that keep me writing and exploring the worlds they take me to.   
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Offline Neghe

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Re: Your order of creation
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2013, 09:10:27 PM »
I start writing scenes; 'till I have 8 to 12 scenes then plot-out enough to get out 7 or 8 more...then repeat 'til I simply must stop and do some serious planing. But by then I have all the main characters and their motivations, at least three possible subplots, and good idea of how I will employ theme(s) as well as the ending (a sketch of one anyway). It's at this point where it all grinds to a halt as I do the needed research, make sure I am in the right POV for the piece, and write rudimentary psychological profiles on the main characters and sometimes even on the story itself.

Though I must say that ideas usually bang around in my head for months before I start writing them down. One second I just think about them and the next I'm 500 words in, with no memory of having made a decision to start writing.

  
« Last Edit: July 24, 2013, 09:16:27 PM by Neghe »
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Offline thatollie

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Re: Your order of creation
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2013, 11:10:56 AM »
I usually don't have an idea until I'm around 100 words into the story, by then I'm too interested to go do some planning.
Never make a decision standing up.

Offline LRSuda

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Re: Your order of creation
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2013, 01:28:57 PM »
Where do you go from there? Do you begin with the characters, or the settings? Do you start crafting the plot first and then think what sort of characters would serve it best? What order do you think works best?

There isn't an order that works best. Find the order that works best for you. If vague premises come to mind first, write them out and see where they go. They may go nowhere. But you won't know that until you get something written down.

Offline Gyppo

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Re: Your order of creation
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2013, 02:50:28 PM »
Also know that something which works well for one book may not work for another.  Some cry out to just be poured onto the page as one almost continuous first draft until you've captured the whole tale in more or less the natural running order.  When this happens you just insert notes to yourself into the text saying **CHECK THIS** when a roadblock appears and press on regardless.

Another book may call out for meticulous research, scene by scene planning, and then a comprehensive shuffle of all the parts to get the final shape.

Find what works for you, but be prepared to change if an alternative method suddenly shoves itself to the front demanding your attention.

Gyppo
« Last Edit: July 26, 2013, 04:10:26 AM by Gyppo »
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Offline jeff

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Re: Your order of creation
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2013, 06:41:31 PM »
The thing that gets me started is the setting - historical period / fantasy world / future / another planet / something real world and now .

Then its a matter of knowing the thing that initiates the action - someone dies / is born / war break out.

Then I try to work out roughly how the story will end - hero lives / dies / succeeds / fails

After that its just a matter of writing the stuff that comes between the begining and the end  ;)
.

Offline ed

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Re: Your order of creation
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2013, 06:28:43 PM »
So, first a vague premise is seeded in your mind. Maybe from reading a newspaper article, or a friendly debate you had, or maybe it just came to you. The end result is the same; you have a story idea and you want to flesh it out.

Where do you go from there? Do you begin with the characters, or the settings? Do you start crafting the plot first and then think what sort of characters would serve it best? What order do you think works best?

99% of stories come from the PROBLEM being pro-active. ( that could be the villains plan or the threat)

From there the rest is a blank canvas. If you could solve this problem. How do you choose to do it? No one can tell you that.



Offline Neghe

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Re: Your order of creation
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2013, 07:40:09 PM »
Very few of my ideas starts with a "what if" question.

Though, half the time they seem to start from a "What the hell did you expect" question.
“Poetry is what happens when nothing else can.”― Charles Bukowski

Offline LeonaIngram

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Re: Your order of creation
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2013, 05:17:14 AM »
My ideas and inspiration normally hit me in the face when coming across:
- an illustration / photo (internet sourced or my own)
- a trigger-word from a movie / song
- music by masters like Mike Oldfield / Hans Zimmer (and company) / Yoko Kanno
- or when one falls in love with a Swedish Fighter Jet ...  ;D

Most of the time I'll focus on creating my MC - what I expect from them, physically and emotionally - and other major elements, before crafting the story around everything.