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1

I'll bet you can learn a lot from what you've already done... Write down the plots of the very short stories that you've already written. Notice how "long" they are. Compare your short stories' plots to the plots you're planning for your longer stories. How do the longer plots differ from the shorter ones? Sketch a few plots that seem more like the shorter ...


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Short stories are great because they concentrate on a single moment: the moment after which something in the character's life has changed and they can no longer ignore it. You can keep the story short by concentrating only on how the character reacts to this change, and you know that the story is done when they arrive at a decision. You can look to Raymond ...


4

I don't believe there really are long ideas or short ideas. Instead, there are just ideas. Even if you say that your plot is very detailed, it doesn't really matter. Instead, it all depends upon how you write the scenes. Here's the entire Wizard Of Oz (by Frank Baum) story. The year is 1935. The place, a dirt road, somewhere in Kansas. Dorothy, ...


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Write down the ideas that are too long for later use (and to free your mind) and just keep developing new ideas until you hit on something that has the right length. Generating ideas works best if you don't censor your thoughts, and trying to limit your ideas to the right length will only impede your idea generator. So let it flow. Eventually something will ...


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Labels like "hero" and "villain" are terms intended to simplify, but your story does not have to be so cut and dry. As with any craft, there's not so many hard and fast rules as there are guidelines. Use your bets judgment; choose what feels right for your story. I would stick to terms like "protagonist" (the lead character that takes the journey) and the ...


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I'd like to add to @Elliot's excellent answer by saying that it doesn't really matter what you write, so long as you just keep practicing. If you're reluctant to start writing your "dream project" because you want to do it justice, then work on a different project first. Try improvising a story, without planning anything about who the characters are or how ...


1

It sounds like you don't really have a story yet, but a world. But a story is the journey of a character who wants something. Try one of these: Start with a character who lives in your world. What do they want? How they get it is your story. (If they have everything they want, you don't have a story; take something away from them). OR Start with a big ...


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I notice that you didn’t mention theme among the basic elements you had in place. You didn’t say much with your question, so forgive me if I wander off into speculation. In fact, I’ll toss a couple of ideas out there and hopefully something will stick. Several writer friends of mine and certainly many successful pros are plot-focused, genre writers. ...


1

I think you deserve some credit for being able plan and envision your story. When it comes to writing, you can be more of a Plotter, someone who outlines beforehand, or a Pantser, who is someone led by their gut feeling. A Google search yields some hefty results like this article that can give you the down low on how both approaches can help you get the best ...


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There are really two distinct challenges to writing: emotional technical Emotional Challenge If you are stuck emotionally, then you may feel as if everything you write is just a waste of time. If this is your challenge, then you simply must change the way you perceive the writing that you do. Not Writing Is The Only Failure Instead of considering ...


2

In real life, there is no universal plot structure that is common to all fiction. But when you read a lot of books, you will recognize certain elements that appear and reappear in several works of fiction – simply because books generally deal with people, and people act in relation to other people and have similar problems and lives insofar as they all love ...


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Oh, wow, where to begin. There are people who differentiate between protagonist and hero, and there are some who use these words as synonym. That really shouldn't stop you. In most (genre) novels there is a person who wants something really badly and you want this person in the spotlight. And on the other side there is someone who wants really badly that ...


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This sounds like an interesting story. Some writing books tend to "dumb down" the components of stories, using words like "hero" and "villain". They can still be useful, if viewed from an angle, especially for more down to earth stories like yours. I would be inclined to think the mother is actually the protagonist (hero) for a lot of this story and the ...


3

To clarify on the alternative method that the others have posted: instead of writing the erotic scene, build up to it and fade to black just before it starts. Leave the act itself to the imagination of the reader. The problem with erotic scenes is that it's easy to write a scene, but it's hard to write it well, and it's even harder to write it so that it ...


6

First of all: it's your choice how far you want to go into detail. When two characters having sex is a plot point in a story which is not supposed to be erotic or not even romantic, a detailed description of the deed can seem out of place, especially when you aren't really comfortable writing it. This can go so far as to just imply that sex has taken ...


11

If the goal of the scene is to show why a person decides what he or she decides, then you only give the detail necessary to demonstrate that. If part of what changes Adam's mind afterwards is the way she looks, you need to focus on her appearance and not the act. ("He watched her face change as he slid into her" or "his eyes roamed hungrily over her ...


0

Plot combines all the aspects of a hook (beginning) and a great ending with steps to get from one to the other. Great stories come from conflict. Put your character in a situation that seems nearly impossible to resolve, and then step by step resolve it; adding new challenges along the way. The Middle section is most problematic for you. Keep out of the ...


5

Give the characters something unique: It doesn't have to be something mind-blowing or some kind of superpower. It could be something as simple as a toe fetish or not being able to remember dates. Give them an unexpected behavior: The wife of one of them left him and he reacted by ... cleaning the house from morning to night?! What? Give them an ...


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There is absolutely nothing wrong with writing a story this way. I personally believe the end-product of this method has potential to be more engaging than its counterpart. You are basing the content of your writing entirely upon inspiration rather than finding a means to an end. You will, however, need to do a fair amount more revising.


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In my experience it goes both ways. Either you start with an outline and write chapters and scenes from it, or once you've written your first draft "by the seat of your pants" you might end up creating what looks pretty much like an outline, or a scene list, just to get a grip of the often chaotic mass of text in the first draft. (This is at least how it ...


4

I firmly believe that you should try both approaches and experience yourself what works best for you. Would you marry someone that you have never seen? Would you sign up for a job, or employ a new worker, without some practical probation? Would you buy a car without testdriving it? Would you decide on a lifelong diet without trying at least one meal? Do you ...


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I largely agree with @dmm's answer and I upvoted it. Let me add: Depending on what you're trying to do with this story, you could make a significant portion of the story be the children's effort to decipher the message. They could find an artifact with the message on it, and figure out that those lines and scratches must be some sort of writing. Lots of ...


3

Why does the message have to be in English? Messages that are meant to be understood across languages are usually encoded visually. Think of the pictograms used to direct people on airports, or the comic-book-like saftey instructions in the nets at the backs of airplane seats. Or think of making drinking gestures. If I wanted to communicate a message to ...


3

The original Tarzan book deals with this situation. His parents had several years' worth of picture and children's books, which they intended to use to educate him while they did whatever they were doing in Africa (which I forget) before they were marooned by pirates. [edit: Then they both died while Tarzan was still a baby.] So, yeah, they had a ...


0

Lea has given a great answer (and +1), but, as Nicole noted in her comment, there are many possible answers to the question that is your character, so I would like to expand on Lea's answer a bit (and will use SF's answer to do so). To find the "correct" answer to the question that is your character, your character and his behavior do not matter at all. ...



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