Six impossible things

Posts Tagged starting

Making stuff up: Putting it all Together

Looking at the story development process the way I have been in these last few posts makes it seem logical and straightforward, but that’s only because I was looking at one angle at a time. In actual fact, when one is making stuff up for a real […]

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Making it up in general

Writing fiction comes in two parts: making it up, and writing it down. For some writers – the seat-of-the-pants sort who just sit down and wing it – the two things happen simultaneously, or at least so close together that it is practically impossible for anything working […]

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What if…

One of the really common recommendations for generating plot ideas is “Ask yourself What if… about something.” It’s the foundation of Alternate History stories, from changes that everyone recognizes – What if the South had won the Civil War? What if Napoleon had won at Waterloo? What […]

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Following a trail instead of a hook

A lot of attention gets paid to “writing a killer hook” for one’s story, to the point where I’ve known people to spend more time writing their very first sentence than they spend working on the whole rest of their story. Not all at once, of course. […]

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Later developments

The ideas I was talking about in the last post are seldom ready-to-write when they arrive. Even the ones that look ready to go often turn out not to be when one gets right down to it. I’ve talked before about the pre-writing story development, so this […]

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Meeting the Muse

“Where do you get your ideas?” Every writer I know is sick of being asked this question. Many writers have developed snappy non-answers: from a post office box in Schenectady, from a secret subscription service, from an idea-fairy who leaves them on the desk whenever I leave […]

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Andromeda Redux: Starting points

One of the things that seems to confuse a lot of people about plot, especially at the start of a story, is that they’re misidentifying what they have to hand, what they want to do, and how to get from one to another. What they have is […]

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Terror and dreams

Still with the process questions, starting with “What in the writing process TERRIFIES you (gives you bouts of anxiety)…and how do you push through it? For example, a blank page is both terrifying and exciting at the same time…” I think I spent ten minutes staring at […]

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Before the Start

“I only need one gun, but it has to be the right gun.” – Lois Bujold Very few ideas are perfect on arrival. Few non-writers recognize this, and almost none of them realize that the process of correcting them often begins before a word of a story […]

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Into the Unknown

There are a lot of jobs in the world, but for the majority of them, you know what you’re in for. You’re making something, or moving it around, or keeping track of it, or trading it. Even upper-level managers have a pretty fair idea what their job […]

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