Wednesday, July 18, 2012

meanwhile, back at the farm ...

"Old Farm Buildings" by William Henry Hunt



I believe I have chosen my next project. It's one I already have partially outlined, which I discovered during the Lightning Flashed Blogfest. I am currently doing some character interviews and asking some questions like:

Are the characters ordinary?
What isn’t being seen?
What’s the most important question?
What’s dangerous in this world? 
Where in this world is there unexpected grace? What is beautiful? What needs to be saved?
When/How will the character (s) defend, explain or justify their actions.
How is the plot’s main problem larger than it looks?
Is this story about uncommon events?
What setbacks have the characters had?
What in this story is timelessly true?
What’s mc’s lucky charm? 
Can we create a situation where the mc is unprepared? In over her head?



This is how I begin to write a story; I discover an idea, I do a little outlining to see if I might be able to write an entire story from this single idea, I name my mc, and I start asking questions.  How do you start?

27 comments:

  1. If I look back at the pre-writing I did before starting Grunsday, I am startled about how wrong I was about everything and everybody. Oddly, the story hit all the plot points I'd planned on in advance, but the path between them went in unexpected directions and NOBODY turned out like I thought they would!

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    1. well I know one thing that surprised me but I won't say and spoil things for those who haven't had the pleasure yet :)

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  2. I love these questions and am stealing them for my WIP. That is all :)

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  3. I have pretty much the same process. My main 'push' to write the story is definitely about the characters. I have to fall for at least one of them. Guess I write like I read.

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    1. yes, I agree, characters first.

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  4. Character and world usually show up at the same time in my head. Then usually i have to figure out the plot and all the bad things that can happen

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    1. haha @all the bad things that can happen :)

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  5. those are some great questions! must jot down!

    and is that the before picture of huntress's farmhouse? hee hee!

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    1. I have more questions - approx 5 pages worth for anyone who's interested which I would be happy to email. Just let me know :)

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  6. My outline tells me if there's enough to be a full fledged book. Everything starts there for me. :)

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    1. I agree. I have too many half finished stories sitting around because I didn't plot them out. I'm not saying I haven't been a pantster or that it hasn't worked but I think plotting/outlining may be a better way for me to go.

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  7. Congratulations on choosing your next project, and those are great questions! I usually just start, then start organizing about a third of the way through. If I don't do it that way, I don't finish the project. :)

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    1. Everyone has a way that works :)

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  8. I love your focus! WOW!!

    I'm totally hopeless! It doesn't help that I'm also a panster so I just free style it with the vaguest of ideas and hope for the best!

    Take care
    x

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    1. you're not alone. I used to write that way but I think plotting is the way for me.

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  9. usually an idea just pops into my head.
    Usually a character doing something, I have to unfold the plot from there.

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    1. yes, that's often how it starts, then I start asking questions...

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  10. I usually build off a scene or character I've pictured in my head.

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    1. I always wonder where those pictures come from, why some people (us) imagine stuff and then feel compelled to write about it.

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  11. Those are really great questions. I will get an idea and think about it to see if a plot will develop and if I think I have something, I'll start outlining everything - the characters, the world, the main and mini plots, etc.

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    1. yes, that's what I've been doing which seems to be working better for me.

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  12. Impressive way to nudge the gray matter. I'm a note-taker and list-maker more than an outliner, and jot down things like what (and where) I need to research, story timelines, character specifics, that sort of thing. And now I may have to borrow your list of questions, too.

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    1. My list of questions helps me with all that, makes me/prompts me to think of things I might not have which then prompts scenes to reveal the things the questions have led me to discover.

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  13. I think it's really late and I should go to bed as I read one of those questions as "What's Me Lucky Charms?" And I thought nothing odd about it...

    In other news...Yes. Must plot. I've tried the pantser route. I get stuck pretty quickly. The character interview I have from you is great for getting me out of plot situations. All I have to do is go back and figure out what it is my character is having issues with.

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  14. Those are some interesting questions. I never thought to go about it that way.

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  15. Ahh . . so you are an outliner. So jealous of those writers who can outline. my mind is not organized enough at the outset of a ms to organize.

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