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please help me start!

(7 Posts)
Lucydogz Thu 11-Jan-18 20:03:47

How do all of you writers get started? I know what I want to write about, but when I sit down to write, my brain starts saying things like 'shall I do it in 1st person singular, or 3rd', or I find it difficult where to start in the person's life. I'm finding this incredibly frustrating.

ImperialBlether Thu 11-Jan-18 20:07:38

Try to write it in rough as though you're telling someone the story. Whose story is it?

I like to write in the first person, but there are problems there because you can't show other people's points of view easily. Two viewpoints, both first person, each in their own separate sections or chapters, can work then.

What kind of novel is it? Which books would you like it to be next to on the shelf?

schmalex Sat 13-Jan-18 15:49:43

Try not to think of it as the finished thing, just get going. Try doing one chapter in 1st and one in 3rd and see which you prefer. Experiment!
The main thing is to start getting some words on the page. In a similar vein, don't worry about first lines or where you are starting as this will often need to change by the time you've got to the end.

ChalktheSun Wed 17-Jan-18 16:40:26

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Pollaidh Wed 17-Jan-18 19:00:57

The text books will tell you to start just before it gets interesting, so showing a little of the protagonist's 'normal' world before everything changes.

I don't think it matters too much where you start as you will almost certainly change the beginning multiple times later. You might find you've started too early, and can cut, or you might need to add a few paragraphs or a scene to build up. But that is a decision you will take much later.

You could either just start writing, as something on the page is better than nothing, or you could plot or use the snowflake method or similar to plan, and then the needed POV etc might become obvious. IME some degree of plotting will help avoid issues later, but it doesn't suit everyone.

MrsHathaway Wed 17-Jan-18 19:25:23

I tend to start by blocking the whole thing (e.g. the vague setup/the change or catalyst/ the conflict/ the resolution) and often that tells you whether it needs to be 1st or 3rd. What does the blurb on the back cover look like?

If you're going to need a lot of action the protagonist can't see, would the reporting be too clunky? Once you've decided, you need to decide on whether your narrator is perfect or flawed, dispassionate or opinionated, etc.

There are a lot of good writing tips on Pinterest for blocking and starting and editing. They usually agree that the writing is maybe 1/4 of the work and it's all the planning and world building... and then editing that takes time. Throw your ideas on to the page and then corral them later.

MrsHathaway Wed 17-Jan-18 19:36:00

PS I recommend www.notebook.ai for world building.

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