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  1. #1

    How do you start your stories?

    What do you start with?

    I've always had difficulties with getting those first few sentences on a paper to even begin a story. So what method do you people use to start?

    What sort of ideas do you usually go with?
    What do you consider good starter paragraphs?
    What do you do to concentrate on writing that first sentence?

    The beginning is always the most difficult for me. After that it's smooth sailing. So what do you do to start?
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  2. #2
    Senior Damian's Avatar
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    I start at the beginning and i get like a paragraph in then write all over the place. After that i hook them up and edit out what doesn't flow or make sense
    We all have our demons. If we're not fighting them, then we've befriended them.

  3. #3
    Senior Gnarl's Avatar
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    Depends on the story. Sometimes I start with a description of a person, a place, an object. Sometimes I start with an event.
    Here is how I started one book:
    The calm silence of a lazy summers evening was suddenly shattered by the sound of what seemed a hundred blasts of thunder.
    A fireball shot high into the night sky and awoke a thousand men at arms. General Toolan Blackpaws, a barrel chested fellow pointed up at the fireball and his loudest voice said "That men, is why you don't give a Dragon chili!"

  4. #4
    Junior Sylvia's Avatar
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    Since all the stories I write seem to be journey stories (including the one I'm currently working on), I find it easiest to start during the journey, during a calm spot in the adventure, and then slowly work my way towards explaining the purpose of why they're traveling.

    That's just me though, and I have the same trouble with beginnings. Once I start I can sit at my writing desk for hours, but it takes forever to get to starting.

    One piece of advice I can give that might be helpful, though, is that if you are the kind who takes notes and writes out the world before hand, don't get too carried away in the world-building outside of writing your story, or you might end up funneling all of your creative energies into your notes instead of the piece you want to actually create!

  5. #5
    ~Kupo~ Moogle's Avatar
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    Personally I find the first bit should be a grabber, so I usually just throw in something that's happening than a cliche` landscape setting. It could be a flashback as those tend to work well if done right, then panning out to the current events. Or something like "A body worth one hundred men. What was he supposed to expect when up against her? 'Even after all these years I've known her, this really shouldn't surprise me.'" and then go off to introduce the characters, and what's happening at that moment.

    I better note that I've only written a few fanfictions, so maybe there's a better way of going about it.

  6. #6
    Senior Damian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moogle View Post
    Personally I find the first bit should be a grabber, so I usually just throw in something that's happening than a cliche` landscape setting. It could be a flashback as those tend to work well if done right, then panning out to the current events. Or something like "A body worth one hundred men. What was he supposed to expect when up against her? 'Even after all these years I've known her, this really shouldn't surprise me.'" and then go off to introduce the characters, and what's happening at that moment.

    I better note that I've only written a few fanfictions, so maybe there's a better way of going about it.
    Hahaha I've done that in one of my fanfictions. Though it was current event then flashback. Everyone liked it that read it so I guess I did something good to counter the bad fanfiction x3
    We all have our demons. If we're not fighting them, then we've befriended them.

  7. #7
    What sort of ideas do you usually go with? A little bit of everything, really. Most of my stories have some sort of adventure to them.
    What do you consider good starter paragraphs? Something that tells you almost everything but has that element of mystery that the story will solve later.
    What do you do to concentrate on writing that first sentence? I don't. I just jot it down and rewrite it later to make it sound better.

  8. #8
    Senior Red's Avatar
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    Full-on nonsense. If my story is insane, why not start with the most offsetting sentence possible ? It can be really hit or miss, but going for the unexpected and being original from the get-go can work.

    When I started writing Leo Davis (my first true story), I had in mind of making the weirdest opening line in the history of litterature, thus : "Oy you ! Whaddya think of the declining quality of the oysters coming from the Bassin d'Arcachon ?" (it is a French story and my written English is still kinda shaky, so maybe I'll translate it later with some help ^^')
    This link might contain cookies. Spoilers : it does not, it's just a trap link towards something I write. Sorry...

  9. #9
    Regular Zombimatic's Avatar
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    First I need to define if my story has a beginning and an end.
    There's no need to start something that has no end, or to just randomly create little by little the story.
    Then I write it down with general descriptions, like "chapter 1 - X dreams of nachos, Y gives him nachos"
    I write down all the characters, their appearances and roles - generally it helps me to see if the characters are useless or if they're poorly written. No one want useless generic henchmen characters in their comics, it may look like they don't know how to create characters.

    I have a lot of tips, it depends on what you really want to do, if it's a comic, a movie...
    I have a few books about writting scenarios, I had to create stories for class, and I do it for pleasure, also...

  10. #10
    Start when something interesting happens.

    People are going to stop reading if they get bored. Start off strong with something interesting. Start off stronger with something interesting about your main conflict. The latter is stronger because then you're forced to go right into your main conflict, no time to get bogged down in the boring things that will make your readers decide to stop reading. I've got a book right next to me, and this is the opening line:

    "There were no lions any more."

    It's a great opening. It's short, it doesn't muck around with the setting (which comes afterward), and it presents an interesting idea: the lions are gone. The reader starts wondering why they're gone and what it means that they're gone, and so they keep reading. To use another example, this time from something I wrote:

    "Footsteps dented the snow without any feet to make them."

    Whether I pulled off the rest of the story or not, my idea here was to introduce immediately one of the core concepts of my story with an interesting hook that would make people want to read further on. It's weakish in that it doesn't really tie into the conflict in the story, but it does offer an interesting image that bears further explanation, so the reader will start to read looking for that explanation.

    Remember also that editing exists for a reason. Once you've written a story, you can sometimes delete whole paragraphs from the beginning to pare it down to just the important elements.

 

 

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