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How Did Your Novels Start Off?

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Sat Feb 25, 2017 7:41 pm
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Demeter says...

This is really fun! I wonder why I didn't see this thread when it was first posted! But here is the genuine, true reason why my novel idea was born:

I don't remember if we were talking about this or whether I just imagined it, but basically I was envisioning @StellaThomas and myself as princesses in puffy dresses visiting each other for tea in gazebos. And that is why. Fun fact that may have been subconscious or a coincidence because I don't think I did it intentionally: my main characters' names start with M and S which are the real initials of Stella's and my names. xD
"Your jokes are scarier than your earrings." -Twit

"14. Pretend like you would want him even if he wasn't a prince. (Yeah, right.)" -How to Make a Guy Like You - Disney Princess Style

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Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:16 pm
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RavenLord says...

Tea and gazebos. I would go with you so long as I didn't have to wear a dress, @Demeter :D

My novel started with another book called "Saint Death". It was a realistic fiction story about crime in Mexico, and it had a seriously badass picture of a Dia de los Muertos skull, so I tried it out.
I ended up hating the book. It would have been fine, but it didn't have any quotation marks for dialogue. Just brackets.
In the end I abandoned the book, but the skull kind of pulled at me and a thought came into my head: What if someone was murdered and then brought back to live their life normally?
I opened up a Google Docs page and wrote in the title: Bellatrix Lyra Tarr. Then the idea kind of grew from there. I have a whole world revolving around this story now. If only my writer's block would let up.....
My signature is a bunch of scribbled-out letters and a lot of cursing.

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Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:57 pm
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Thundahguy says...

Mine started the same way all my others do:
With Genghis Khan riding a Zombie dinosaur

I generally think of a couple of awesome (stupid) events in my novels, string together a plotline that links everything together, and go from there. My last idea had a demon throw the entire CN tower at a plane. The plotline for that story was actually interesting overall but was incredibly boring at the start, so I scrapped that idea. My current story though is much more fun at the start and throughout.
Winning an argument revolves around getting your opponent to understand and accept your side, and know that's very difficult if you insult their mother to their face.

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Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:02 am
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PastelSlushie says...

The project I'm currently working on, Friends Forever, was inspired by multiple Creepypastas, I can't remember exactly which ones though. I know for sure one was Jeff The Killer, I think some others were Slenderman, Ticci Toby, and Homicidal Liu. I've gotten so many ideas and new characters for it, I'm planning on making it a three book series!

I normally write down the novel ideas I get, because most of them are fairly good and I don't want to lose them. I usually just flip through the multiple pages of book ideas I have, and stop on one and write that when I'm finished with a project, unless that finished project was part of an unfinished series.

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Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:54 pm
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BluesClues says...

Both of my current WIPs started off with a writing challenge and me poking around for ideas.

Book Man (which seriously needs a new title at some point) is thanks to a quote that was floating around Facebook at the end of 2012. It was something like "tomorrow is the start of a 365-page blank book, write a good one." So naturally all the writers were like, "GUYS. GUYS. Guys. What if we ACTUALLY wrote one page a day for 365 days???" and I decided to join in.

I flipped through photos for inspiration until I found one of a statue from the Renaissance Festival. It was a woman with a pitcher on her shoulder. I immediately decided I was going to write a story about a garden statue named Minerva, who came to life each night...but then when I started writing on January 1st, I started writing about a house made of books. And then I started writing about the guy who owned the house. And then I started writing about a magical park.

And Minerva eventually showed up, but it wasn't at all the story I was planning on, so I'm really not sure how that happened.

The Chosen Grandma was the same sort of deal but with a lot more forethought. I decided to join this round of LMS, but it had to be a new novel and I had zippo ideas. *TV superhero show announcer voice* LUCKILY FOR OUR HEROES, I keep a folder on my desktop entitled "writing reference & inspo" for this very purpose. I flipped through everything I had at the time until I latched onto that post from Tumblr about an old lady Chosen One accompanied by her skittish-but-loyal orderly and armed only with her stabtastic knitting needles.

I immediately knew exactly how it would start, but not the plot or the middle bits because I am Bad at That. Hence all the planning that I've been doing, before and throughout, and all the brainstorming sessions in the car with Sir. I'd like this one to have a semi-clear plot line when I'm done with the first draft, in the hopes it doesn't turn into the sprawling mess that Book Man currently is.

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Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:03 pm
PickledChrissy says...
The current novel that I am working on started when I was listening to my sister play gravel road on the piano. I'm not sure how that turned into Shanndrae Woods, but it did. Anyways, there is the song up above.
A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed ~Second Amendment.

I love my guns. ;)

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Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:03 am
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CarryOnMrCaulfield says...

Well, I'm working on two at the moment, going back and forth (with an audio-drama also in the works), but the most interesting story probably involves Shattered Crowns, my true passion project. The book's origins are almost as convoluted as its plot, but not quite to that extent.

I trace its origins as early as 2009 after I began delving into Tolkien's Legendarium. It began with my first true viewing of the Lord of the Rings trilogy from start to finish, and then I read the Hobbit, and then the books. Due to that interest, I remember drawing very inaccurate maps of Middle Earth, and so I figured that I would try and draw some maps of my own. They were pretty bad. I hardly even remember them, and I generally have a great long-term memory. From 2009 to 2010, I started diving deeper down the Tolkien rabbit hole. I played those great LOTR video games, read the wiki a lot, picked up a copy of the somewhat dull, but equally interesting, Silmarillion and then, later that year, the lesser known but beautiful tragedy of the First Age, Children of Hurin. By that point, I knew that I wanted to write a fantasy novel. How hard could it be, right?

So I sit down at my kitchen table one day (probably some time in late 2009 or early 2010) to start what was naturally going to be the next great high fantasy spectacular. Blindly, I began to write and come up with what was probably the most contrived mythology ever. I basically started writing a knockoff of the Silmarillion called Of Gods and Behemoths, which was also partially inspired by Greek mythology. I lost interest and left it to the flies and carrion birds.

That August I went to a technology camp, signed up for a unit where I learned game modding. I modded a game called Neverwinter Nights 2, and my level that week involved you, the player, taking command of a ranger in some order located in what I called the "Northwest Forest". It would be up to him to go out and defeat the invading Orc armies and save the kingdom of Gondiliath (Gondor + Osgiliath = original, right?). He then finds out he is the rightful king and takes the throne, located in the capital city of Lordium. So, basically, I had this great idea, and, in my head, decided to lock it away for future use if ever I needed a story idea.

That came in Summer of 2012 when I was in my third World of Warcraft phase. I got super into fantasy and decided to create some stuff. I made a timeline of history partially based on that in Of Gods and Behemoths, as well as how the different races came to be. Then I began drawing what would be the very first maps for my world. Geographically, both the new and old maps look very different, but the continental placement and basic latitudes and longitudes are essentially the same. Following that, I made a chart of the various races and their population demographics. I also drew some lousy concept art.

The first slightly recognizable iteration of my world came into existence in June of 2013. I decided to draw a map again, similar to the one I did a year earlier. I made it far more detailed, focusing on a specific continent now called "Caenterin", where all of the magic happens...and by magic I mean sh*t...

Anyway, I made up all of these random cities, ports, castles, mountain ranges, rivers, forests, etc. and began to come up with their names. Interestingly enough, the Northwest Forest and the city of Lordium made it onto the map, and they still remain to this day. Once I had named a place, I asked myself what its back story and significance was, and then took notes. Following such, I jotted down what I thought their culture might have been like and their government. It was almost as if I was studying an ancient culture and making speculations. The ideas came to me. I did not come up with them. I can't really explain it. I was just inspired that day.

The true writing of what would become known as Shattered Crowns began that August. I wrote a prologue and the prototype to the first chapter. This was basically the start of a proto-proto rough draft. Neither of these chapters exists anymore based on personal choice. The prologue was unnecessary and resembled the one in Game of Thrones too much, and the POV character in the first chapter was just not very believable when written as a POV. While I did not omit them for a while, I eventually did. The second chapter does exist though based on its original vision. The first chapter is very similar to how it used to be, only from the perspective of a more realistic and far more relevant character, who was nothing more than a side character in the original draft. The rest of that summer I filled notebooks with character descriptions, character names, and biographies and some minor story arcs. I don't think I knew exactly where I wanted the book to go, but I already knew what the overarching conflict/world event was going to be, and it still is exactly the same.

Despite that, the novel has changed drastically. The 2013 manuscripts were simply the oldest known draft or collection of notes that remotely resembles the novel as it stands now. Over the course of now more than four years, having undergone constant plot, subplot, character, lore, and stylistic changes, it has endured and turned into what is now one of my most cherished things ever. Without that stupid little idea in the head of thirteen year old me, I would not be at the point I am today. I continue to write this complex book filled with colorful characters who have changed drastically since their initial inceptions. Today, my world spans nearly 10,000 years of detailed lore, even down to the most seemingly minute and seemingly insignificant detail, such as what year the national anthem of Albion was written and in what context, how ice magic came to be a recessive trait in the ruling house of Boraelgrasp, the specifics of the ideological stances (economic, political, and social) of both of Albus' major political parties and each subsequent caucus within them, and, finally, the birthplace of some minor bard's father only hinted at once in one of the book's many interludes. I even made a pen and paper RPG based on this world.

I feel like it has come alive.

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Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:18 am
wordwing says...

Well it started when I was bored and I thought about fantasy and bam! A story idea came into my mind. It wasn't anything too good, but then I thought of ways to butcher and torture my MC. And that's what led me to getting an idea for another character that will be very relevant to the plot. The story is still on going though, and I've veen struggling to find time to continue. The problem is that I couldn't think of a name, so I used the most boring name that I thought of: The world I live in(definitely have to change that). My first 2 chapters also need polishing, and I can't wait for the winter break. The other one, which I haven't even started writing yet , called "distance doesn't matter" came to me when I was chatting with @Flumadiddle.

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Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:40 pm
DeerInBacPac says...

Thats me!

Yeah, most of the time novel ideas will come out of nowhere. Just, do something that gets your gears turning and then BOOM! With some luck, an idea will form!

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Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:26 pm
wordwing says...

@Like crying?(cough cough me)

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Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:08 pm
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Magebird says...

My current novel started as a strangely detailed and coherent dream. I've always had story-like dreams, but most of them have been weird, and need some serious thinking through after I get up to make any sense of it. But this dream felt like I was experiencing a story, and the details stayed mostly constant throughout it. I even remembered some names from it - Loki and Sarah. Since the story seemed really interesting, and I wanted to find out the ending, I decided to write it myself.

I just, uh, haven't gotten much of the actual writing done yet. :P
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Sun Mar 08, 2020 11:35 am
ChrisDixon says...

I don't really know how I got my ideas. You are one day thinkig about something and it just pops out of nowhere. Then, you start think about it more and in a sudden second I'm just writing a book. Starting from when I was very young, I loved poems and stories. And one day before I knew, I was writing more than thousand books and poems. I think if you find something that interests you, you get more ideas. Or when you are daydreaming and listening to a music that sets you in a story-land. I think all fiction books are started by imagnation.
The first book that is rightly(grammer and capitalizations etc.) written was when I was about three. Just after my dad read me "1,000 poems for everyone". And my second book was just few days after the first. I got the idea from my mom who read out loud to me "Dad do you full understand me?" and "Do you ever wonder why ants live in the ground?"

Thank you, you gave me a chance you share.


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Sun Jul 26, 2020 9:36 pm
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STRvArmory says...

I'm currently working on two projects: The Wonders of Pujil Archipelago, and my main one, W²A: World Weapon Advent.


♠World Weapon Advent

Spoiler! :
W²A is special to me. It came after a lifelong struggle: more specifically, I was looking for some sort of formula. A pattern, or e surefire method. Something, anything that would allow me to fuse all my ideas together in a single concept. To make it easier for me to just go in and write for everything at once.

One day, I came across a random youtube video explaining to me how quick-drawing works. It relates to Iaijutsu, the Japanese art of quick-drawing with a katana.


So, that, and luckily it looks just as bonkers cool in real life. 'Cept you don't do it on a dragon.

Through watching the video and gradually understanding how it works, it somehow just... dawned on me. That I could just Iai my way on a single project.
That is to say, putting every idea, every concept, culture in a single place. But not just for the worldbuilding of a single universe. The whole idea behind W²A is that of a world in which people have weapons that allow them to throw worlds of each other. They're people who meet in a single universe, and that universe is a crossroad. But where they come from, they're all the main characters. They're all people who have gone through a lot in their own right. And they all reached for the crossroad because they want to learn to use a World Weapon, which is a skill that allows them to focus all their accumulated experiences and/or emotions, knowledge, power (magical or not), personality, memories, and the likes into a single explosion that, for a split-second, showcases to their target who they are through the world they just got hit by.

it's both very literal and very philosophical, which, as I came to learn later, is typically the kind of contrast you'd find in Japanese concepts. So, after watching this video, I oriented my creative process towards figuring out a way to build a magic system around that, then a world, and then the concept of World Weapons. It's nothing new, really. But throughout the years, I found ways to perfect it, and I still have years upon years to keep on doing that. So, in the meantime, I knew I needed a test project to develop the talents I would require to even be able to write about something so... abstract as W²A.

Which is where Pujila comes in.

♠The Wonders of Pujila Archipelago

Spoiler! :
I've said so in the topic itself, but the whole point of Pujila is for it to be a world-building exercise in order to me to practice creative research. It started off when I started watching a lot of natural history documentaries to practice my English. I realized I really liked what I was seeing, and wondered what it would take to make an animal for myself.

I participated in a local art project about just that (so, creating a fake animal with realistic abilities). I didn't win or anything, but it was a bit of a revelation. I knew I could put in the work to do that, so, I started doing more and more until I came up with the Needless Armory — a ragtag team of gadgeteers that basically act as BBC's Natural History unit, using recycled tools to create whatever they need to explore unknown parts of their world.

The point of all this is that I'm a heavy researcher. That means I develop my memory space, and so I have a tendency to either know exactly where my ideas come from and why I have them. If I don't, I'll write down the concept, then track down its source later — because it must have a source, and I'll create one it if it seems like it doesn't.

In conclusion, I suppose you could say that all my novels or novel projects begin with introspection.

Call me Mory.

I'm working on a worldbuilding project called The Wonders of Pujil Archipelago. You can find it here: The Wonders of Pujil Archipelago

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Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:23 am
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oceans says...

I am really enjoying reading all these posts!

I have a few novel ideas that I am working with and they were all inspired by real-life experiences and dreams!

I have an untitled romance/drama novel that I'm writing in bits and pieces, getting the emotional and intense scenes out the way first. The very first scene from this that I had written was actually inspired by a conversation I had with a love interest at the time. Much of the dialogue in this story is verbatim, with a few twists of course! I was also very inspired by love stories that don't shy away from the cruelties of the world, like deceit, and death.

Another piece I have been working on, in which I dubbed Dark Dreams at the time I turned it in for my portfolio last semester, was inspired by a nightmare a friend of mine had in which he awoke in a hell-like place in which a monster eventually ripped him to pieces. I sort have changed the idea up and it made it more psychological horror, but that might change in the near future (or will it? I don't know). The structure of this novel is heavily inspired by Stephen King's Misery. I love all of his works, but this was what I was reading at the time I wrote the first part!

Another one I am working on was also inspired by a nightmare that my father had, in which he had been silently abducted by aliens. Before he had been abducted he was in a regular city, until that started to melt into static. I have titled this one, Static Reality. However this concept needs a lot of work and I will probably finish the other two way before this one!

I'm so excited to read your guys' works!

You wanna be a writer? You don't know how or when? Find a quiet place, use a humble pen.
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