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One thing I've seen working quite well is to open with a short "action sequence" that naturally leads to (some) back-story exposition. One example would be the start of Charles Stross's "The Atrocity Archives", which starts with a new-ish occult field agent's first assignment and then in a fairly natural way segues into a (small amount) of back-story, ...


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I don't think in medias res should necessarily be understood as jumping into the middle of the story. I think we should look at it more as a story is embedded in a history. You may need to understand the history in order to understand the story, but the story itself -- the character's moral arc -- does not begin at the beginning of the history. So you start ...


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The Big Flashback can work, but it's a tired cliché. The general strategy is to open with Louise fighting for her life the grip of the Acturan Octopus Tyrant, then jump back in time to her childhood in Idaho, and the strange sequence of events which will lead to her becoming Earth's one hope against the alien invaders. If I read something like this and, ...


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Kurt Vonnegut advised that writers “start as close to the ending as possible.” I recommend you decide what is the best ending you have right now, and then write that book. After that book is done, you can start a new book and write the best ending you can come up with for that book. One thing that movies are suffering from right now is they try to make 2 ...


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I don't think it's altogether a bad idea, it depends on how you implement it. One of the ways it can be achieved is to have the present day story and the past story running in parallel. This would mean that events would need to develop for the character in prison, whilst he remembers back to what happened previously. Answering your question about the ...


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I'd suggest creating the connections as you go. I know it seems like it would make good sense to plot out the grand story first, but this approach can make the actual writing a soul-destroying experience, and tends to produce a predictable narrative. Inventing the big story on the fly is much more fun and not difficult. Just look at what's gone by and bring ...


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J K Rowling said that she imagined her entire story nearly all at once in one sitting. That means that while the readers were doled out a single book at a time, she basically had one giant story, broken up into seven parts. If you think about it that way, connecting all of the stories together is not much more complicated than connecting elements between ...


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There isn't a one-fits-all answer here. Generally speaking, your personal talent/skills in seeing and imagining connections will allow you less effort (and "work"/"formula"/"method") in devising them. It doesn't make you a better or worse writer to have that gift, but it certainly makes your job easier. If you want a couple of tips on how to be able to ...


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I'm currently working on a new project, what I doing is that I'm working with an outline and think of stuff that will happen in broad strokes and how it relates to other things. Personally, I found that it helps a lot if you plan backwards that way you'll have an easier time to weave different plots and helps you in foreshadowing as well, this is what works ...



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