marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

where you start

I've run across one too many articles tell me what to start the story process with. . . .

Yes, if you have inspiration for a story that can be summed up in a one-sentence summary of the plot, you can start there. If you have a nasty antagonist who will give your protagonist real trouble, you can start there.

But you can start anywhere where you get the idea. I've started with plots -- either retelling a fairy tale or ripping off one that the original author just didn't do justice to (and may even have made backstory!). I've started with nifty plot twists or clever bits of magic. I've started with -- well, actions is better than scenes, because it can be a short portion of the scene, down to something that could be contained in a picture (especially, of course, if the original source is actually a picture). I've started with themes and abstractions (though those can be a nuisance), and I've started with titles -- and sometimes the title even fit the finished story.

All of these have their challenges in that they all have something that needs development. The fairy tale plot needs elaboration; the ripped off plot needs to have the serial numbers filed off and then elaboration. The actions need an entire setting and plot to lead up to them, and lead away -- and some are inciting incidents and some climaxes, and in particular, characters have to be more complex than would be manifested in a single moment. An abstraction or title makes a plot look detailed with the need for elaboration.

But trying to force yourself to start from one place only adds unneeded difficulty.

(Though I advise people to try to get the ideas to work together if you can. It does simplify the invention process.)
Tags: idea development, inspiration, writing
Subscribe

  • tale of a child

    There are fairy tales with child protagonists, of course. If you read up on them, there are even tales that start with child protagonists who are…

  • dealing with the witch

    ding-dong the witch is dead -- The first one at any rate. I comment on her body first, but then I elaborate on the breaking of her spells.…

  • ages of history

    So, once upon a time, there were evil wizards making everyone miserable. Some of the more minor wizards banded together and took over and made…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 0 comments