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agentclue77

Branch: Ekaterina

Hello guys! Why did I say hello? Everyone just says hi....anyway, I found these posts online and I figured I would share them. BTW there are going to be multiple parts on this thread.

 

Part 1

The Idea

 

1. Write. Down. EVERYTHING. If your idea is good enough to be a book, then you need to sit down and write or type absolutely everything you know about this idea. Write down character names, words, phrases, dialogue, settings, etc--basically take the contents of your mind that are swarming around this story idea, and empty them onto a page. This is your start.


2. Ask questions. If you're going to write a book, getting an idea and then immediately starting chapter one is a one-way ticket to a dead end where you'll more than likely get stuck, scrap the idea, and move on to the next one that pops into your head. No, if you're going to develop a book, then you need to take this grand idea in your mind and expand it. Ask yourself questions, and not just the normal questions like, "What's my main character's name?" and "What is my book's setting like?" I'm talking about questions that make you think. For example, if your idea is a story about an orphaned girl who steals people's identities in order to survive, ask yourself questions that will stretch your creative mind. What if the girl could steal identities because she was a shapeshifter? What if the story takes place in a world where identity theft is the highest crime possible? What is the reason behind that? Etcetera, etcetera. Write these questions down as you go, let your mind wander, and give yourself time. Soon enough, you'll find yourself with a buttload of awesome ideas.


3. Organize! So now you have a developed idea. Great! All you have to do now is organize it somehow. Now, this part really depends on your personal preferences. Some people take this step as an opportunity to craft an outline. Others just make a list of possible scenes, plot twists, etc. My favorite thing to do is write scenes from the middle or end of the book that I've envisioned in my head as I developed my idea. Usually, writing these scenes allows me to get a pretty good idea of how the whole story will go from beginning to end, like a messy outline in my head.


4. Write! You've got your idea. You've developed it, you've written an outline or a handful of scenes, and you're ready to kick this book into action. So do it! Jump in and start writing. All you have to do is rearrange the letters of the alphabet to make some words and sentences to fill some pages. It's that easy, and that hard.

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Lucy

 

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Something to believe in for even a night

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decodingdragon1366

Branch: Ekaterina

THank you for this.

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APRIL/RO 

 

 

"I love the DARK"

 

All shall bow down to me, as I am a QUEEN. 

I dream. I write. I read. I live. 

 

 

 

#Freakslikeme<3

#Wearefamily

#Ichosehappy

#ComehomeClev

#I'mnotClay

 

#Iamtitanium

#Callonme

#NeverForgetCyra 

 

 

 

 

 

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agentclue77

Branch: Ekaterina

*NOTE*

I am not a fan of THE SELECTION...it just wasn't my kind of book. *mumbles* Everyone is going to hate me for this...anyway! Let's get to it!

 

Part 2

The Beginning

 

1. First sentences. I've talked about first sentences a little bit on the blog before, but honestly I don't think I could talk about them enough. They're just that important! First sentences are the first things readers see when they open chapter one of your book. If you have a boring first sentence, then odds are the reader will close your book and not look back. You don't want that!
For example, take a look at the first sentence from Kiera Cass' The Selection.
"When we got the letter in the post, my mother was ecstatic."
I love this line. Why? Because it immediately sparks questions in my mind that I want to be answered. What letter? What did it say? Why is her mother ecstatic? The curiosity I felt was enough for me to keep reading, which then allowed me to discover a fantastic book series that remains today as one of my all-time favorite collection of stories. Your first sentence is one that needs to have power. It needs to hook the reader and make them ask questions that are too irresistible to ignore.


2. Main Characters. The beginning of a book is also where your main characters are introduced, as well as the relationship between those characters. It's extremely important to make sure your characters and dialogue are good and strong in the beginning of your book. Why? Well, think of it as meeting someone new. If they come off as too strong, too whiny, talk too much, or don't talk enough and it's awkward, are you really going to want to talk to that person again? No, you're not. And if your characters are like that, your readers won't want anything to do with them. When writing your characters for the first time, be sure to give them realistic traits as well as realistic-sounding dialogue. That being said, be careful--writing realistic dialogue does not mean including every single bit of small talk and conversation fillers that we humans use in real life. In a book, use your dialogue between characters to move the book forward and give important information rather than filling pages with, "Hi, how are you? Nice weather we're having, hmm?"


3. Settings. The beginning of the book is your chance to show your readers the awesome story world you've created, but not all at once. The setting, of course, is an important thing to describe in the beginning of a book because the reader needs to be able to envision everything as they're reading. However, don't dump the setting on the reader--sprinkle it.
For example, having a whole bunch of consecutive paragraphs just describing the place where your character lives (except in some cases) is boring and unnecessary. Rather than having a character just tell your reader where they are, show it. Make your character feel the cold shadows of buildings watching them as they walk. Have them smell the fresh, grassy breeze of a farmer's field. Then, slowly sprinkle in the setting descriptions through both external and internal dialogue.


4. Background. Another important thing in the beginning of a book that you don't want to dump on your reader is a character's background. As difficult as it can be, I promise you, you do not need to spill every bit of your character's past in the very beginning. It's not good! It's info-dumping, which is generally very frowned upon in the writing world. Instead, slowly reveal your character's past through memories, flashbacks, and dialogue. This was definitely the most painful thing for me as I wrote my first few chapters of Unperfected because I kept feeling like my audience was going to be confused. But, as I kept writing and got to the middle of the book, I got to reveal more and more of my character's past, and things that I mentioned in the beginning finally would make sense to the reader. So try to hold off on info-dumping and focus more on sprinkling.


5. Setting up the story. This is probably the most important function of a book's beginning. As you write your first few chapters and introduce your characters and story world, you should be slowly building the plot and tension. The beginning is where your main character faces a problem of sorts that they spend the rest of the book trying to solve. Let's take The Hunger Games, for example. The beginning chunk of the book (the first three chapters) begins with Katniss in her home, and ends with her and Peeta on the train. If you've read the book, then you know that throughout the first three chapters, the plot builds to set up the story. First, Katniss faces the problem of her sister being chosen in the Reaping. Next, she counters this problem by volunteering in her sister's place, which ultimately adds to the first problem because now Katniss herself must fight in the Hunger Games. By the end of chapter three, Katniss and Peeta are on their way to the Capitol and trying to process the chaos their lives have just become. The beginning of this story builds the plot and sets your character up for the rest of the story, and your beginning should do the same.

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Lucy

 

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Something to believe in for even a night

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agentclue77

Branch: Ekaterina

 

Part 3

The Middle

 

1. Growth. Throughout the middle chapters of your story, your character(s) should be growing or changing, and while you don't need to shove that change in the readers' faces, the change still needs to be seen. For example, let's revisit the book I talked about in the first post in this series: The Selection, by Kiera Cass. In the beginning, the main character, America Singer, is completely against the idea of the Selection and Prince Maxon. But as the story moves, America slowly begins to change her views and open her heart. When a person goes through something in life, they tend to come out of it different than they were before. Character growth is essential in your story because it's realistic.


2. Essential action and conflict. The middle of your story is that awesome place where you get to move the story forward through a bunch of cool scenes. Maybe you have some fighting or battle scenes planned. Maybe a minor character gets kidnapped. Maybe your MC and her friends have a food fight. Who knows! The thing that matters here is that these scenes need to be essential. There's nothing worse than reading a book where the beginning and ending are great, but the middle is nothing but boring, average page-filler scenes to get you to the climax. Think of your plot as a roller coaster ride. Do you you really think people will have fun on the ride if the longest part is nothing but straight tracks and a few teeny bumps? No, they won't! The middle of your book needs to be packed with action and conflict that is essential to the story and moves it forward in a swift, seamless matter.


3. Tragedy. While this is not necessary for every plot, it's generally necessary for most plots. In a lot of books, the tragedy of the story is generally the transition from the middle chapters to the ending chapters. (See The Hunger Games, The Archived, Unremembered, etc. I'd explain those three in detail but then I'd reveal some nasty spoilers.) But what I will say about these three wonderful, fantastic books is that the middle chapters of these stories all end with some sort of tragedy or event that sparks a change in the main character, causing them to act upon that change. Those actions then lead into the climax, and ultimately, the end of the book. In my first book, my main character goes through a sudden death, and her reaction to that death leads to a conversation during which she remembers something that in turn leads to the climax and end of the book. Tragic events are effective in the sense that they move your plot forward, as well as affect your characters and audience.

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Lucy

 

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Something to believe in for even a night

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kindhydra1

Branch: Janus

Thank you, Sarah for giving us more great writing tips yet again.

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I am Zoey

I'm a Janus

I'm a Madrigal

I'm a daughter of Athena

I'm a hunter of Artemis

I'm a member of Erudite as well as divergent

I have a penguin spirit animal

I'm a hystorian

I'm Atlantian

I'm a zebra

 

 

I'M A BOOK LOVER!!!!

-KindHydra1 (39 Clues Mber)

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onyxwolf284

Branch: Ekaterina

Thanks, Sarah! :D This is awesome!

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mickey. 

 

no more band-aids on my heartaches.

no more smoke when i burn my pancakes. 

no more drowning in my sorrow. 

with my chin held up there's always better luck

tomorrow. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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dogyellow583

Branch: Ekaterina

I love your posts, especially the ones about writing :) They are always so helpful... Thank you for this!

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       Christy ~  currently trying to figure out what’s wrong with me 

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agentclue77

Branch: Ekaterina

Thank you guys so much! You're all so nice! 

 

Part 4

The End

 

1. There's some sort of twist or shock factor. A character dies. A character thought to be dead is actually not dead. Your MC's best friend is actually a bad guy, or maybe he/she is actually the antagonist. Who knows! The point is that a good story includes a twist (or maybe a few twists) in the ending chapters. Adding something unexpected will shock both your characters as well as your readers, which will add some flare to the story. If you have a twist planned for the ending, it's also fun to sprinkle tiny hints about that twist throughout the middle chapters of the story.


2. The climax needs to be exciting! Is your character defeating a dragon? An evil wizard? An army of robots? Or maybe your MC barges into a wedding and steals the bride away. Whatever it is, your climax needs to be fast-paced, energetic, and enough to keep a reader on the edge of their seat. Your climax also needs to be realistic and well-paced. If your climax is sloppy, your readers definitely won't be happy. For example, as much as I absolutely adore the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan, I was not very pleased with the ending of Blood of Olympus. (SPOILER ALERT) Personally, I thought Gaea was defeated way too quickly. The entire series led up to this great battle that was going to happen, and when it actually happened it just seemed far too simple and easy. I kept expecting Gaea to rise up like, "Surprise! Still alive!" but that never happened, and I'm still disappointed to this day. Don't get me wrong, I love love love Rick Riordan's books. But because of the climax in the final book, I'm a little disappointed with the entire series.


3. The ending needs to . . . well, be an ending. As weird as that sounds, it's true. Like I said before, there's nothing worse than reading a great book, getting to the ending, and thinking, "What? That's the ending? It sucked!" A lot of times, I've found myself saying this after reading a book or watching a movie where the ending wasn't really an ending. If you leave questions unanswered or leave off with a simple, average sentence, then your ending wasn't an ending! As you near your last few pages, keep in mind that these words are the last your audience may hear from these characters for a while, or maybe even forever (depending on whether or not you're writing a stand-alone or a series). And when it comes to last sentences, make sure you leave the audience with something to really think about. Truthfully, your last sentence is just (or maybe even more) important than your first sentence.

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Lucy

 

Mastermind

Wonder

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Recruit

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#FreaksLikeMe

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Something to believe in for even a night

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agentclue77

Branch: Ekaterina

 

Part 5

Wait...what the heck do I do now?

 

1. Take a break. I highly recommend this one. After devoting so much time and energy to writing your book, you deserve to take a break! Plus, it's extremely beneficial if you do. Setting your manuscript aside for a few weeks allows your mind to rest and will help prevent you from getting burned out. Taking a break also will help you pick mistakes in your manuscript with ease once you begin the editing process.


2. Jump to the next book. This is what I did after I finished my first book. Though some may not recommend it, I don't think there's anything wrong with it. I knew my first book needed to be edited, of course, but I was too impatient to jump into the next book. So, I did! There's nothing wrong with starting your second book right after your first, but be warned: doing this makes it very, very easy to burn out. I ended up knocking out my entire second book in just four months, and after I finished that one I was mentally exhausted. My writing brain had gone through writing two books in less than a year, and I needed a serious break. So while it's totally okay if you want to get started on your next book, pace yourself!


3. Start editing. After I finished my second book, I tried to move onto the third, but couldn't bring myself to write. So, I went back to my first book and began my first round of editing. Personally, I think starting your first round of editing right after finishing your first book isn't a horrible idea, but it isn't the best. You've been looking at your story and words for months now, which will make finding mistakes and cutting out paragraphs a difficult task. However, if you think that jumping straight into the editing process is right for you, then go for it! Everyone has a different writing technique, so don't be afraid to experiment to find yours.


4. Do something other than writing. *Collective gasp* What? Something...other...than writing? What does that mean?? Okay, seriously though. You've just finished an entire book. So go do something! Hang out with friends, go see a movie, binge-watch Stranger Things on Netflix. Treat yourself! You deserve it.

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Lucy

 

Mastermind

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Something to believe in for even a night

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firecolonel18

Branch: Lucian

As a fellow writer, thank you for this! It's really helpful to return to the basics. 

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Virgil 

 

Firebending elven alchemist from Cybertron 

 

a.k.a. Nerdy fanboy and book enthusiast 

 

"Remember my chains." 

 

 

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butterflyamber887

Branch: Lucian

This is very good! 

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Bracha

 

Home is behind, the world ahead, and there are many paths to tread.

Through shadows to the edge of night, until the stars are all alight.

 

 

 

 

 

                                                         

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dogyellow583

Branch: Ekaterina

aye, writers, read this-- NaNoWriMo is juuuuuust around the corner!! #to50Kandbeyond

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       Christy ~  currently trying to figure out what’s wrong with me 

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agentclue77

Branch: Ekaterina

So...I completely forgot I posted this

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Lucy

 

Mastermind

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Story Thief

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Recruit

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Shadow Child

 

 

#FreaksLikeMe

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Something to believe in for even a night

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butterflyamber887

Branch: Lucian

Well, it's very helpful.

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Bracha

 

Home is behind, the world ahead, and there are many paths to tread.

Through shadows to the edge of night, until the stars are all alight.

 

 

 

 

 

                                                         

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agentclue77

Branch: Ekaterina

Thanks

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Lucy

 

Mastermind

Wonder

Disnerd

Pegasister

Hunter

Story Thief

Child of Exile

Recruit

Jedi

Avenger

Shadow Child

 

 

#FreaksLikeMe

#WeAreFamily

#NeverForgetAnyone

#Keep39Alive

#Greyromantic

#Asexual

 

Something to believe in for even a night