Here's another installment of our "Ask Us Anything" series where Zyra solicited questions from our awesome readers and we continue to answer them. This is the last question we have but it's not too late to add one. As long as you keep asking, we'll keep answering. Remember it can be anything....
Today, our question is from Digs and she asked: Where do you start when writing a story? Do you think up a specific line or scene and work around that or do you think out the plot from start to finish before typing a word? Or does it change from story to story?
And here are our answers:
We'll start with me (Push): Where do you start when writing a story? Do you think up a specific line or scene and work around that or do you think out the plot from start to finish before typing a word? Or does it change from story to story? I was tempted to say that I start with a scene, but I guess upon thinking about it, that isn't entirely true. I think I start with a thought surrounding a plot. Like, "What if Han left after the awards ceremony?" And then if I get inspired and a few scenes come to mind, I'll type them up in no particular order. But, I have had instances where one line of dialogue will inspire me to try and build an entire scene or story around it.
I have to say that the longer I do this the more organized I become. For instance, "Why Not Now" had no plot outline or anything, I just sort of wrote it as it went, but for "Restoration", I actually jotted down a plot line and tried to build the story that way.
I definitely don't write it all out in order, and I may start with just a few lines of dialogue scattered about and then just try to fill in from there. Scenes and dialogue may move around as I write the story. I have even had dialogue that I cut from one story and I was able to plug it into another one. I guess you could say that it definitely does change from day to day and story to story.
I don't know if that helps you at all and I don't know which way is better. "Why Not Now?" probably has a better plot than "Restoration" and I didn't even pay attention to plot when writing it, so, what does that tell you? I guess I always just try and take it as it comes and make the best out of it. After all, there are no rules here, I mean my editor/publisher is pretty lenient on that sort of thing. Right, Zyra? ;-)
And now for Zyra: Where do you start when writing a story? Do you think up a specific line or scene and work around that or do you think out the plot from start to finish before typing a word? Or does it change from story to story? I think for me it really depends. I'd say more often than not I guess I think of a scenario and build from there. What happened when Han found out about Xizor? What if Han didn't remember who Leia was? What if Han decided to bet Leia that he could give up sex for a week and she spent the entire time taunting him? What if things weren't so perfect between them, even after marriage? Then several other stories of mine obviously are just filling in gaps from ROTJ. I am probably pretty bad at thinking up "plot," I just think of an idea and start writing and see where it goes.
I definitely do not think of it from start to finish before I start writing and usually that gets me into trouble when it's time for the story to end and I don't know how to end it well. I've got more than one story that I still can't stand the end of, but I just wanted it to be done. I actually don't think I've ever written a story where I knew how it was going to end before I got there. I mean, in general they pretty much all end up "happily ever after" but as for a specific ending, definitely not.
A lot of times I do come up with little scenes or scenarios that I'd like to write but I can't seem to come up with a good story to fit around it, so nothing ever happens to them. I should really just start writing those down and worrying about them later, but it seems so frustrating to just have one scene and while I may like it by itself, I have no idea how to construct an entire story around it and it doesn't seem worth it.
Alright, so there went another installment of our "Ask Us Anything" series. If you would like a question answered, please visit that post and Ask Us Anything. (We do reserve the right to not answer, if necessary! So, don't get crazy...)
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