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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » I wonder what I should write first.

   
Author Topic: I wonder what I should write first.
B. Elison Bradley
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A problem I have is the whole thing about brainstorming, one day I walk down a street and then BAM idea! "That's cool, oh wait, what if I did this as well? And added this and crossed with this and added these tropes and maybe subvert this and that? Sweet!" And then I get really excited and start working on it in some preliminary fashion and then bang! New idea.

Its torture, I want to write them all.

I got 2 principle webcomics (one is kinda a blomic, the other is a D&D story set in my own setting I made) that I need to update that I want to work on, than there is that novel trilogy on a war set 20MinutesIntoTheFuture in an alternate history setting detailing a geopolitical war drama between a "Space NATO" and "Space Warsaw Pact", I even took out 12-15 different books on Soviet History and the Red Army so I could flesh out the needed background information.

In between this is a that shonen Urban Fantasy D&D inspired 5 book series I want to write which I wrote about a a few dozen pages of names, abilities, how magic works etc.

Then there's that idea I've had kicking around of writing a story about Hatrack's membership where instead on a webforum everyone is a student in a Japanese highschool with suitably embellished seinen anime-esque personalities.

I can never seem to make progress on anything. Don't get me started on those RPG's I keep trying to make with the RPG maker that I can never seen to get working.

It's like worse than writers block, too much to write and I end up procrastinating and doing something else.

Gah!!


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billawaboy
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Welcome to hatrack Bradley!

Ah, the age old problem of mixing two kinds of brainstorming - one for new ideas and one for developing those new ideas. The good thing is you can write them all - just one at a time (unless you like working on multiple stories at a time.)

Well, before you start working on what to pick first, it's probably best to just do an idea dump on a document. Here's what I usually do: I take each idea, along with any variants, and put it in its own document and folder. There you can develop (brainstorm) on the idea coming up with as many variants as you want - but it's all contained in that document. Any research goes in there as well.

Next, developing the story. Every writer has to develop that cool idea into a basic story - maybe not every little detail, but you should know atleast a basic opening, key scenes, and end.

For ex:
You may have the idea of a future where the human race is enslaved by it own AI creation in a virtual world set in late 20th century society. But the story is of a young man who intuits his world isn't real and sets out on a journey to complete his destiny as the savior of two worlds. This is the log line. I'm sure you can imagine the beginning, the key scenes, and the ending. From there, all that matters is what details you add - instead of a cyberpunk/goth setting, you could make it a humorous children's story set in the future.

Obviously, your beginning, middles, and ends are not written in stone - as you write, a better plot or character, or even scene may come along that upsets what you've written so far. This happens a lot; when you get closer to your story you see what works and what doesn't - and you have to change it. Sometimes from the top. Believe me I know. The trouble sometime may be sticking to the story you already have. That decision is a toughie and all yours.

Now that you've done all that brainstorming/developing - which do you work on first? My suggestion: The most clearest and easiest to complete. It may not be easy in itself, just the easiest among your other ideas. The goal is to get one story written ready for rewrite and polishing - and hope fully submission.

Well, hope that helps.

[This message has been edited by billawaboy (edited April 10, 2010).]


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KayTi
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My recommendation is to pick a project and focus on FINISHING it. Finishing our work is the only way we are going to get anywhere as authors. At least for me, a goal of writing is to get published (and, you know, get so famous I have to move because my fans found where I live and are camping on my front lawn...)

So I suggest you pick a project and focus on it for a while. Get a writing notebook that you can use to jot down ideas for other projects (reserve several pages for each if you want to feel organized, or make it a binder with the ability to rearrange pages.) If another idea just won't leave you alone, give yourself a 5 minute time period to jot down the ideas, explain to yourself what you were thinking so that later when you go back you can pick up that thread. But then put the writing notebook aside while you work on your current Work in Progress. Focus on that WIP until it's finished.

Good luck. Finishing what we write is one of the harder things about being a writer, I think.


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B. Elison Bradley
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Alright, but which one should I start first, anyone have any input on which concept is more interesting?
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genevive42
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Which one do you think about most? Which one is burning in your brain? Which one makes you want to write?

That's the one you should write first.


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axeminister
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Agreed.
What you should write first is totally up to you.
And when I say up to you, I mean writer you, not conscious you.

If if were up to me, I'd have one more novel and three less short stories.

Axe


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billawaboy
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Fine. I'll pick. Do the "shonen Urban Fantasy D&D inspired 5 book series [with a] few dozen pages of names, abilities, how magic works etc." one.

Write just the first book of the series and have it be about 120k in length. You have 4 months to write the first draft - i.e. be done by August 31st. You have the next 20 days till May 1st for prep and research.

On Sept 1st post the first 13 on Hatrack.

Ready? Set. Write!


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B. Elison Bradley
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Your a shrewd stern taskmaster, can I contact you by email when i get a draft of my first chapter done?
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billawaboy
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The best thing to do would be to post your first 13 lines in the "Fragments and Feedback for Books" forum on Hatrack. Gotta put the work through the guantlet first- and you get more peer reviews that way. A few people will like it, a few dislike it, and a few will want to read what you got so far.

Check out the link below to see other works that have been recently posted, see how people evaluate works, perhaps give critiques - and post your work.

Hatrack: Fragments and Feedback for Books


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