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Is the phrase "Once upon a time..."
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 67% [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 3
Monthly Writing Prompt
For this month's writing prompt write a scene using the following sentence to start;

The streets were deserted. Where was everyone? Where had they all gone?

Writing Tip
Our monthly writing tips are written by our very own TerishD. You can read more in Terish's Blog located in "The Abstractions" area of the forum.

Look Back

When not able to write ahead, it helps to look back. In my case I had written a paragraph ahead of the story. What I needed to do was add a section of exposition (talking) presenting some facts. In going back, I realized that I could insert a section where a 'tour' of the surroundings could be done. This allowed for character interaction, story development, and other things that enabled me to present the facts in an entertaining manner.

One should not face a writer's block with the mentality of bursting through it. I have found in my own experience that a writer's block is usually due to my mind indicating that it has a problem in 'channeling' the story. One reason might be a re-imagining of certain story points. Another reason however is that there is a problem in where you are at in the story, so you need to look back and find out the problem with the 'journey' that prevents the tale from advancing.

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Number of posts : 18
Age : 32
Location : Wolverhampton, UK
Registration date : 2009-06-14

PostSubject: Planning   June 23rd 2009, 5:36 pm

I have some good news, I finally picked up my pen (even though I was using a keyboard) today. I have begun planning the first section of my story today. When I say plan I mean writing an outline of what happens in it. If anyone else has any tips on planning a novel then please let me know.
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PostSubject: Reply   June 23rd 2009, 7:50 pm

Let me compliment you on writing an outline. It is considered the proper step in many circles. It is not the way most people actually start, but it is what many 'educated' voices say is the proper method.

I do eventually write an outline, but it is usually after a good bit is written and I am working to orchestrate all of the characters and sub-plots that have crept in. I however usually work at NOT writing an outline. What I find is that an outline takes the fun out of writing. I like the discover, the creation, of working a story to completion. Once the outline is established, the actual 'fun' work is done, and what is left is just the menial labor of the fingers. Each to their own style, and feel free to try techniques to see what works for you.

Keep writing however you do it.

Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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Age : 32
Location : Wolverhampton, UK
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PostSubject: Re: Planning   June 24th 2009, 5:30 pm

The reason I am doing an outline (its like a synopsis, chapter by chapter) is because I am bloody scared to begin writing this novel. It could be me procrastinating, but I do feel I need to organise my ideas into some kind of logical order. I have only written 2000 word short stories, poems and flash fictions before so the size of even one chapter is frigtening to me.
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PostSubject: Re: Planning   June 25th 2009, 5:15 pm

Planning cuts down work in the long run, it saves having to go back and rewrite stuff relentlessly, because you find yourself with major plot dilemmas. To me, a good plan does not take the fun out of writing, it puts less pressure on you to make the story flow. The fun part is taking the information and turning it into something pleasurable to read, rich with well written prose, flowing dialogue, and interesting narratives.

It is hard enough to make the story readable without having to worry that you face 6 months worth of rewrites because the story went somewhere you didn't want it too, or a plot line just doesn't make sense, or you have too many loose ends to tie up.

Of course, that's not to say its easy to plan every detail out before you write it. So, you might end up writing a basic plan of how your plot will develop, and then discover everything else as you're writing. But yes, I think most, if not all, successful novels are planned to the hilt before the author even puts pen to paper. But that's a skill that obviously takes time to develop.
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