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how much do you need to begin a book?

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Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:41 am
FrancisAMckeon says...



Im writing a fiction book, and im going to create a world more or less like ours in terms of history but i want to know how much do i actually need about my setting to start it because i dont want to hit a road block or have conflicting facts or changes when writing it. I have character bios, and a rough plot...

Eric’s world is falling apart around him, with tension higher then never before, and the government and its people at each other’s throats. Eric stands in the middle torn by his feelings of loyalty to his country and friendship with people in the revolution. When trying to remain neutral he gets put in the crossfire of deadly coups, power struggles and assassinations. With officials dying Eric gets promoted to a position he once coveted, but the position soon makes him a target. If Eric doesn’t choose a side he’s sure he’ll die. Constantly looking over his shoulder Eric must embrace his new life in a world of cloak and dagger as a figure in a plot that could tear his country apart.

I do plan to add some characters during the creation process, exactly how much do i need to start a book and actually finish it? should i plan out everything or just see what happens as i write? opinions? comments? how exactly do i start?




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Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:36 am
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Rosey Unicorn says...



How much setting you need is up to you.

I know several writers who know next to nothing about the setting right at the start. They write and come up with it as they go, then edit the next draft. I know others who write a bible of notes before they begin. And neither way is right.

What's important is that you write the way you want. You could start blind, but keep notes as you go and reference those notes not to get contradictions. Or come up with a decent setting before diving in.

Really, it's up to you. There is no right answer.
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Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:16 am
AquaMarine says...



If you haven't done something of this scale before, it might take you a while to work out what is really your style! You say you have a rough plot and character bios -- that sounds like a fair amount for the beginning, but you might have to change how you work as the novel progresses. If you find yourself stuck or you are going way off course, sit down and think carefully about what you want to happen, hopefully you'll get there!

Good luck. :)
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Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:56 pm
McMourning says...



I would say just start writing.
I've tried to write histories and it's just distracting. Just tell the story and go back and edit it later. Yes, you may have to change some facts, but don't worry about that when you're in your early stages.
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Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:49 pm
Dynamo says...



It all depends on what works for your book. If you need an example of one way you can do it, I'll tell you how I started mine. There's a lot of lore and history that I've put into my book, so in order to properly establish it I needed to give my readers an idea of the world they're reading about. So, in the prologue I wrote about the legend of how Angels fought against dragons in order to save the world, the consiquences of their actions afterwards, the war that followed, then the world's God/Devil figure being summoned to the world and reacking havoc, etc. All of it is established in the prologue in a tone that made it feel like a legend being retold. Then, when I finished it I seemlessly connected it with the first chapter by having it start in a church with the head priest just finishing a sermon, where he had just retold to his flock what had been said in the prologue. Then from there it was a matter of introdcing the main character.

This is one of the things you need to put a lot of thought into, it'll be the first thing your readers see when they open your book. With a fantasy book you want it to be striking and memorable to intice the readers to keep reading. My way was just an example and may or may not work for the type of fantasy story you're writing, but you should still put as much thought into your opening as I have with mine.

It's important to have a general path in mind for your plot so you have something to keep you on track, even if you do end up deviating from it. What I did for my book was slap a bunch of large newsprint papers on my wall with tape and, one-by-one, list each event in the story as it procedes, connecting them with a line from beginning to end. There were a few things I had to cut or add in the long run, but that foundation helped me a lot with planning out everything, as well as giving me more ideas of what to add to the plot to make the journey more interesting. I knew where the main character had to be at the end of the book, it was just a matter of getting him there.
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Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:20 am
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MariaRowlands says...



I am 14 going on 15 and despritly need help with writing my stories. Can people write stories based on a dream they once had?
Maria Rowlands
Ice Princess|Let It Go|Don't Let Them In, Don't Let Them See|Conceal, Don't Feel




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Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:23 am
Rosey Unicorn says...



Maria- But of course! The only "rule" in writing is: do what makes sense for the story. Which I'm sure some people will debate with me about. Hence "rule" being in quotes.
A writer is a world trapped in a person— Victor Hugo

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