Questions tagged [getting-started]

This tag should be used for questions about common problems starting a piece of work or a unit of work.

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6 votes
2 answers
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How important is your first sentence?

I am sure I read somewhere that you need a gripping opening sentence to a story. I've been conscious of that claim when reading since and I find most of my favourite authors (King, Asimov, Iain M. ...
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3 votes
4 answers
117 views

Is it bad that my stories are starting to seem the same?

I have some stories planned but I have found that a bunch of them revolve around giant monsters and 1 or 2 similar characters. I don't really want to combine them, but I fear that I'll will be a hack ...
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2 votes
3 answers
101 views

Least confusing way to structure 2 plot lines merging when one starts several years before the other

My story has two POV characters, Delilah and Jack, who start separate and meet ~ 1/4 of the way though. Delilah's story starts several years before the Jack's and is the entire reason he even has a ...
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3 votes
6 answers
159 views

Any tips for young writers?

I am a 15 years old boy who likes to read/watch/play anything that has a good story in it - especially fantasy. Everytime I finished one, I always feel like that I want to make people feel 'that way' ...
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11 votes
11 answers
4k views

Am I starting my story too late in its timeline?

In my story the MC joins this pseudo-militia. The process for every new person is to sign up, go to training, and then be sorted into teams and wait to be assigned a mission. I have started writing ...
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2 votes
2 answers
126 views

I am trying to write a Shakespearean-style play, but my “ideas” are always something I remember from Hamlet?

How does one come up with original ideas? Hamlet was amazing, but every time I think of a plot point or character, it just is not nearly as good as Hamlet or is a direct copy of the play. Is there ...
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2 votes
1 answer
229 views

How to start a story after the inciting incident?

My novel starts with the three heroes joining a cattle drive. When they talk among themselves, it's obvious that they have some kind of hidden agenda. We'll learn more about thier secret mission over ...
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4 votes
3 answers
155 views

Bad to start story with VR/non-real scene?

I'm coming up with an outline for a cyberpunk story. I want to establish (at some point) that the main character has marksmanship proficiency by starting my cyberpunk story with a VR sequence, in ...
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1 vote
4 answers
104 views

How to write a non-fiction book? [closed]

I've heard that in order to write a non-fiction book I need to write notes and then put them together to make a book, but I'm writing notes from possible 4 completely different books, so when should I ...
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  • 11
13 votes
9 answers
3k views

What should come first—characters or plot?

I'm starting a new fantasy story, and although I had a loose idea of plot, I began sculpting my characters before writing anything. Creating images of them in my head, developing their personalities, ...
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  • 8,733
7 votes
5 answers
1k views

How to organize ideas to start writing a novel?

Beginner here. So, I have tons of ideas for a novel, and in fact I want to write one (even a series), but I'm struggling a lot in actually starting writing the story. I have ideas for characters and ...
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  • 543
1 vote
5 answers
742 views

How to tell if my writing is nonsense? [closed]

So I am writing a book, the start of the book sounds interesting even to the my "board" of readers. After a while I had 586 words in total SO FAR,I am not sure if my writing is nonsense. This is my ...
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15 votes
11 answers
3k views

Do I need to start off my book by describing the character's "normal world"?

I know a lot of books do it (Harry Potter, LOTR, Wheel of Time). It's even part of the "Hero's Journey". However, my book starts with the "inciting incidient" i.e. my main charatcer begins her first ...
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6 votes
3 answers
695 views

Help/tips for a first time writer? [closed]

I’m starting to write a fiction novel. A friend of mine works in publishing and she thinks the plot for my book is great but I’m not sure how to start. I know a lot of the details and I’ve thought up ...
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6 votes
2 answers
181 views

How to shorten a prologue?

I understand that a prologue is meant to open up a story and introduce characters, themes, and the world to my audience. It is not supposed to be a long length of text. At the same time, I find my ...
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2 votes
3 answers
105 views

Research on an alternate history novel

I love alternate history scenarios; however, I just want to start writing. Should I do research or just start writing and go with it with some research along the way?
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  • 376
9 votes
8 answers
1k views

The problem with beginning

I don't mean "sitting down to write", I mean the literal beginning. The story itself starts with my protagonist running. I need to get him to run, then I'll have the rest of it sorted. But won't ...
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  • 91
2 votes
3 answers
277 views

I have no artistic skill, but I want to write for animated shows/movies

See title. I love writing stories, but I usually imagine how they are like in show/movie form, specifically 3d animated ones. I don't feel like I have the skill to write a good book, but I do think I ...
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  • 4,165
2 votes
2 answers
123 views

Providing context without getting lost in Description

I think one of the challenges I have faced the most often in writing books has been where to start. I tend to do a lot of flash forwards to jump into the action and follow it up with a chapter or two ...
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12 votes
9 answers
2k views

Where do I start?

Let’s say I’ve created an outline, have explored my characters properly, and have properly broken down each scene to an appropriate level of detail. I know the story, I know the pacing, and I know ...
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  • 1,900
13 votes
9 answers
3k views

Restarting a Novel

In 2015 I wrote the first two thirds of a novel (as part of NaNoWriMo). I stopped at that point because I had written the 50,000 words required for the 'competition' but the story is not yet complete. ...
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  • 7,683
0 votes
1 answer
104 views

How do I start writing? [duplicate]

I have so many great ideas! I've completed several stories in my head but i've never put any to paper. How do I start? How do you start?
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3 votes
2 answers
409 views

Besides books, what other sources can be used to gain knowledge? [closed]

What other ways are there to acquire knowledge? Will the Internet be helpful?
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  • 441
7 votes
5 answers
227 views

How should I start to write a flash fiction story?

I recently saw a contest for writing flash fiction - the contest rules were that it had to be under 100 words long. I thought "Hey, that's cool! I'll give it a shot." So I sat down, and tried to ...
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  • 1,159
4 votes
4 answers
194 views

Chapter 1 Problems

I've written for a year now(ish) and I've come along some great ideas I'd like to form into existence. But I always, always, ALWAYS have one problem. I can't seem to get past the first chapter or ...
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  • 523
33 votes
9 answers
11k views

Should I write a novel if I haven't read many?

I have heard people telling that they have read so many books and have a mini library at their houses. I did not read many books (I am 17 and do not have much time as I balance school, special classes ...
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2 votes
0 answers
167 views

Start writing literature without reading experience [closed]

I am a person who has neither read many literary works nor speaks English as a native language. For a while now, I have become interested in writing and would like to get better on it. Therefore, I ...
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0 votes
3 answers
1k views

How difficult will writing a novel be for someone without formal training?

I almost asked the question "Can someone without formal training write a novel?", but the answer of course is yes. To get a better answer, I ask the following question: How difficult will writing a ...
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  • 285
1 vote
1 answer
80 views

When to evaluate whether your book will sell?

For a new guidebook project (freelancing in IT) I wonder at which point I should evaluate the idea. I see these possibilities: Create a website with a newsletter subscription form and see if people ...
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4 votes
1 answer
379 views

How to start writing a graduation speech?

I am a junior in high school and have been asked by my teachers to prepare a welcome note and start the ceremony. I have to: introduce the principal and the guest of honor thank the faculty ...
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10 votes
4 answers
821 views

Should I write something I don't care about first?

When I was 14, I had an idea for a novel but never wrote anything. I'm now 24 and just finished participating in National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo.org) where I wrote a 25k word "long outline" of ...
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  • 364
3 votes
4 answers
164 views

Getting help and/or mentoring, later in life

For context, I am a forty-something male from the Great Lakes region of the United States. I work full-time as something other than a writer. About 25 years ago in high school, I was an almost-...
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4 votes
3 answers
1k views

How to research and discover topic popularity and trends to determine topic selection for article writing?

I have been asked to write various technical and non-technical articles about computer usage, Windows usage (perhaps some Mac and *nix as well if they let me), Windows repair, and various other ...
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0 votes
3 answers
176 views

Is there any structure to write a book? [closed]

I want to write a book but I don't know where to start. I'd like to know if is it there any structure for a book to be written, or if somebody could tell me how to start.
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3 votes
3 answers
689 views

Best way to write an article professionally

Is there any widely accepted step by step method for writing a creative article in a professional manner. I want to improve my English writing skills in relation to creative article writing. I read ...
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5 votes
3 answers
449 views

How do I write for webcomics?

I want to start a webcomic. For this, I expect I'll be doing a lot of writing. I once had someone draw a webcomic based on my writing and it was a nonsensical mess. The art was good, but nobody knew ...
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2 votes
1 answer
287 views

Setting up for writing

I am a work professional and the writer by choice. I have been writing for a while now but basically poems, short stories etc. I have been writing due to internal urge. An idea, emotion and a feeling ...
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  • 257
6 votes
2 answers
331 views

How much $ to calculate for an Editor

I plan to self publish a book (non fiction). Currently I have 150.000 characters, but when it's done I will end up with around 250.000. I am not a native english speaker but write the book in english, ...
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  • 163
10 votes
5 answers
5k views

Is the first draft of a novel usually shorter than the finished work?

I finished the first draft of a novel I'm writing. Right now, it has 17000 words. I've heard that novels these days range from 60,000 to 150,000 words, so I'm a little bit worried (I'm hoping to have ...
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15 votes
4 answers
12k views

How to handle taxes for a self-published book

I'm thinking of publishing a book on kindle, but I don't currently have a business set up. Do you need a business to publish a book? I'm curious as to how to handle US taxes for the royalties. I ...
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  • 153
1 vote
2 answers
34k views

How do I appreciate a subject matter expert's expertise?

Situation -A subject matter expert is helping me with something that, well, matters. (to me) I want to send a quick one liner thank you and let her know that I fully appreciate the time that she ...
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  • 113
3 votes
2 answers
471 views

How to restart a novel(la)?

I've got a novel(la) of 33,000+ (130 or so manuscript pages) words that I would like to build up to 60,000 or so words - but I'm having trouble restarting the project... So my question is this: what ...
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9 votes
3 answers
702 views

What are the key skills for a new technical writer?

For those that are just starting out, what are key skills they should have or learn to be a good technical writer?
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12 votes
2 answers
2k views

How do I get involved in writing for video games?

Many video games have deep storylines. This has been the case since the early text adventures where creative writing was all that existed to keep a player engaged in the game. I believe that some ...
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