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Author Topic: Writing advice...  (Read 2087 times)

The Amstor Computer

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Writing advice...
« on: 08 March, 2004, 03:52:20 am »
A very particular question here for any writers on the board: How do you get from an initial image, or the kernel of a story to a fleshed-out short story?

I've been having a great deal of trouble with this recently, and I've got a file full of story fragments that I don't seem to be able to do anything with.

Any suggestions?

-=>DEMONIZER<=-

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Re: Writing advice...
« Reply #1 on: 08 March, 2004, 04:07:26 am »
Come up with a beginning, middle and an end.

You should be able to visualise these cornerstones from the conflict in your story.

Then just beef up the bits in between with characterisation, good dialogue and appropriate pacing to suit the action.


Banners

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Re: Writing advice...
« Reply #2 on: 08 March, 2004, 06:10:09 am »
Sounds obvious - but don't just think about it, get started. Sit in front of your PC or get your pen out - nothing ever got wrote in anyone's head.

As soon as you begin, and even if you have only a vague idea, things will happen.

M@


Dudley

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Re: Writing advice...
« Reply #3 on: 08 March, 2004, 03:44:52 pm »
Hi BB -

First off, have you tried combining the disparate short story fragments you've got into one?  The combining of lots of funky elements can work really well to spur on your imagination.  Just boil the ideas down into 1 or 2 sentences, then arbitrarily stick the sentences together in any order and try to come up with a plot that encompasses both.

Second, are you actually coming up with stories, or just scenarios?  The first has a quality of movement, i.e. hero or whatever changes or his situation is changed by the story: the second is just an interesting starting-point.  

For me, short stories tend to come all at once - beginning, middle and end - and the work that I do thereafter only fleshes out the world and the characters.


There're some good tips by Andy Diggle in the "writer submissions" bit on this site - if you're trying to write for publications I'd say his tips are good no matter what the medium.

Also, the scriptdroids website is worth checking out - particularly the archives.  (It's also where you're more likely to get attention from Rennie, Spurrier and other "real" ie published writers, especially if you put up some examples of your shorts that you're having trouble with)

Hope this is of use

James

Link: Scriptdroids


Quirkafleeg

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Re: Writing advice...
« Reply #4 on: 08 March, 2004, 04:35:23 pm »
If you're stuck try to think 'why' things are happening rather than 'what'... You've got an image, and idea... why has this come about? Who are these people? What can happen next? Hopefully, plot will start to develop.

If all else fails buy a glove puppet and start talking to it... 'What's that Socko, I'm wasting too much time on the internet?'

Devons Daddy

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Re: Writing advice...
« Reply #5 on: 08 March, 2004, 04:41:28 pm »
Come up with a beginning, middle and an end
this is the wagner for dredd method.

As soon as you begin, and even if you have only a vague idea,
the garth ennis and mark millar for dredd method.

If all else fails buy a glove puppet and start talking to it
the this guys going to be a huge succesful writer who people like alan moore ask for advice from you know method.

sadly i lack the talent to manage the high standards set by the other posters here.but there are some damn great scripts on this site by boarders , which may giude you a bit.
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Art

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Re: Writing advice...
« Reply #6 on: 08 March, 2004, 04:43:42 pm »
You could try buying aphone with a camera and taking blurry pictures of beer bottles, puddles, your feet etc...

Jared Katooie

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Re: Writing advice...
« Reply #7 on: 08 March, 2004, 04:53:40 pm »
Think of one idea for your story to center around and come up with a logical beginning middle and end. Add detail and (what I can never do) write it all down as a story.


Mr D

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Re: Writing advice...
« Reply #8 on: 09 March, 2004, 07:39:49 am »
I'm not doing a short story, but I did the following:

Got a few intelligent mates, and explained the idea. Had a HUGE brainstorming session, taking piles of notes. Later I sifted through the notes and worked out from them what I did and din't like. I then came up with a bare bones plot based on that material. It altered a bit, but it's still basically the same.
Then I started to write, having chosen a specific point at which the story should open.

I was surprised at how the story actually came to life and filled in the blanks on it's own. Characters have taken on a life of their own. A support character who was supposed to be killed off might end up living now because I've grown rather fond of him...

Mr C

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Re: Writing advice...
« Reply #9 on: 09 March, 2004, 02:58:07 pm »
Once you get a few ideas on paper, be sure to get out the knife and cut off any crap bits. Remember, if an idea or character or any other part of your story doesn't sit well with you, it wont sit well with the reader.

An remember: SUBTEXT IS FOR COWARDS!