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How Did Your Novels Start Off?

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Mon Apr 25, 2016 2:34 am
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EternalRain says...

I get inspiration from other stories, writers, TV shows, movies, etc. I'll combine different aspects of different things, and then everything morphs together in my head - adding new, creative ideas and originality.

Sometimes, I'll have some fantasy world in my head and then everything comes off of that. Or, it'll be that from characters. I start with a character and everything develops off of them; the setting, other characters, the plot.

Other times, I just further progress and develop a story idea I've had in my head for a while (which may have just been daydreamed up one day, or been inspired from something else) and it turns out to be a story idea.

Much outlining and hard work creating diverse characters later, my novel is started off.

So really, I guess I get inspiration from other's and use my own creativity to create something.
“Fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant filled with odd little waiters who bring you things you never asked for and don't always like.”

-- Lemony Snicket

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Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:40 am
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Lefty says...

I'm a little unsure of exactly how The Fighter of Aldea got started, but I do recall one day in Fall of 2013, turning on my iPad in the Ikea parking lot waiting for my mom, and writing a scene about rain falling down upon a village... which would become the first scene I wrote of a 294k word trilogy that took me nearly three years to finish.

There were a few questions bouncing around in my head that helped shape the story. Like "People always imagine the future being full of technology, but what if the future actually regressed? What if there was a story that took place in the future but felt like the past?"

And then I watched a TV show where there was this epic battle of the people trying to fend off the enemy long enough for this device to boot up and take out the enemy. And I got this vision in my head of someone running through a battlefield as fast as they could, dodging weapons and enemies as they raced to get to this "thing" that would end the battle. And I imagined it in one epic, fluid shot, like in Tarzan when he's swinging through the trees and sliding on the branches in one fluid-motion shot.

Then I thought, "what if there was a warrior who went blind and learned to fight without their vision, then got their vision back and became a remarkable fighter?" and "What if there were two childhood friends who realized they had feelings for each other?"

So I started putting these pieces together, not knowing for sure where I was taking it. I thought there was enough plot that I might be able to stretch it to two books, but I had never finished a novel before and had plenty of first chapters to show that my ideas had a tendency to fizzle out. Well, the words just kept coming. The first one just sort of flowed-out onto the page. One turned into two, and two turned into three, and here I am three years later.

And then of course movies and books influenced little things. For instance, Frozen, Tangled, and Legend by Marie Lu, among other things, wiggled their way into dialogue and various events which helped shape the story into what became The Fighter of Aldea, The Sorcerer of Vantana, and The Warlord of Yorkshire.
Hear me out, there's so much more to life than what you're feeling now. Someday you'll look back on all these days, and all this pain is gonna be invisible. - Hunter Hayes

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Thu Apr 28, 2016 3:08 am
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Gymnast2801 says...

How I started off my story?
That's a though one because I had my best friend to help me. Quite honestly, we would just send each other ideas and keep growing them together until we had this awesome, massive idea but this one was more on my own.
I had thought of an idea that I should try to combine my favorite books (Harry Potter, Divergent, Hunger Games and Warrior Cats) into one story but that didn't resemble the others too much. I ended up with yet another idea that it should be about an animal (I love animals more than anything) and it should be an endangered one to raise awareness that most animals will be extinct soon. I decided on the lion and watched so many documentaries that now I am addicted because they are so interesting. I created four groups like from Harry Potter and Warrioe Cats but everything else is different.

So I guess that's how I created my story. It sounds hard but it really isn't although I love to plan-and if anyone ever needs help with story ideas you can post on my wall or PM me and I can always help :wink:
If the world was blind, how many people would you impress?

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Sat Apr 30, 2016 11:37 am
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TriSARAHtops says...

I'm a little foggy on where the initial idea for Eight Reasons Why I KIssed Hayden Beaufort (also known as Hayden because the title's a killer) the writing project that I'm attempting to write the second draft of at the moment (read: I finished it over a year ago and now I'm kind of poking at it and hoping it'll do something. It mostly leapt from the title - "[insert number here] Reasons Why I Kissed [insert name here]" just popped into my mind one lazy afternoon, and Hayden was born. The rest of the story and the characters just kind of flowed from that.

I do very specifically remember where the inspiration for my main character's voice came from, though. My old school was on a hill, and I remember walking down said hill after school one day, and I'm not sure what I was thinking about - it might have been the novel, or it might've been something else - and the phrase "Well honestly, you look like a tosser" came to me. Which, as well as being one of the first sentences in the first draft, was also the line that pretty much inspired my main character Liv's voice. It's not a line that really says that much about her, but from then on I had worked out how she spoke.

The project I'm currently working on (and am actually planning at the moment. Me! Planning! As a potentially reformed die-hard not-planner, this is a little strange for me. But it's working, so I shan't complain), which is tentatively titled Lost Souls is a mash-up of two separate novel ideas I've been toying with for a fair while. One of these ideas is the vampire novel, which has its origins in my days of binge-watching Buffy for the first time. It was all about female friendship as the central relationship, and ideas about battling the darkness inside and good and evil and the cost of immortality and all that jazz. Basically the story centred around two friends - Amy and Melanie - and what happened after Amy was turned into a vampire and ran the risk of becoming evil.

The second idea that my current project sprung from was itself a bit of a mix of different ideas. One was a partial chapter of a rather different story, which contained three of Lost Souls' main characters: Margot, Jess and Elliot. Originally, I had a completely different protagonist, and Margot was her best friend, and Elliot was the love-interest (with Jess being a less-involved side character), but I came to realise that the story that I wanted to tell was not about Celeste (the original protag), it was about Margot. In the original idea, which really had very little to it, Elliot was a believer in the supernatural and Margot was not (that remains the same), and the now non-existent Celeste was somewhere in between, but wanted to believe in magic the way Elliot did. But that felt a bit off, so Celeste was removed, and Jess promoted to a main character. Then my X-Files binge-watching came along and the wanting to believe idea became more important in Elliot's character, and I wanted a whole "are ghosts real? Or is it all just being made to look like they are?" kind of uncertainty. This story also was very inspired by my fascination with old and abandoned houses.

Neither story was really going anywhere, so when it dawned on me that I could mix the two together to make a story that would work better than either of them was currently working. Amy and Mel's relationship was kept, but they got Margot and Jess' names. Other character relationships get shuffled around a little. We aren't dealing with vampires, per se any more, and although we still have the haunted house from the second idea, there's more going on than just ghosts. I combined one of the characters from the vampire novel with a character from the ghost story. Mixed and matched until I'm at the place where I am now, with something that vaguely resembles a plot.

So that's where my current novel began.
if we wait until we're ready
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Tue May 17, 2016 8:14 pm
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haredrier says...

I like to take inspiration from a lot of things, and as such I'm left with a lot of different stories/ universes that I haven't put into writing yet. However, the one that i'm currently working on was mostly inspired by music, primarily Dope D.O.D . One of the member's physical appearance, combined with the aggresive lyrics and my love of sci-fi and fantasy created this mishmash of portals, time travel, gods and dragon souls. The concept went through several different variations, but I've settled on one of the first ones for now. Maybe I'll write one or two more versions of it sometime, if I get around to it.
Death isn't cruel- merely terribly, terribly good at his job.

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Fri May 20, 2016 4:52 am
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UntamedHeart173 says...

Mage Chronicles, the novel I just finished started out as a Harry Potter fanfiction. (It was extremely AU and I never even actually posted it because I spent so much time world building. Eventually, these other characters started to form and I just turned it into an original fiction. My main character wasn't even anything like Harry to begin with and I guess I just really wanted to make it something that I could eventually sell. And now, I'm in the editing process and I'm super excited about it.

Shadows of Astrid started out as a short story about the Greek God falling in love with a human girl. I've ended up creating new characters, whole chapters, and a plot that could go series wide eventually. My Hades is a gentle but violent giant with a horrible past and I'm loving the writing process so far.

Seeds of that one started out as a normal novel. It had a female/male relationship and a pretty basic plot line. Fortunately, SoY ended up being completely changed by the time I fleshed the plot out for the first time. It is now completely fleshed out and has a male/male relationship. The premise for it is actually completely different than anything 've ever done before and I'm super proud of everything in it. I've even got a whole chapter-by-chapter outline for it and notes that go into the third and fourth books. I haven't been this excited about a book since Mage Chronicles.
Dean: Of course, the most troubling question is why do these people assume we're gay?

Sam: Well, you are kind of butch. They probably think you're overcompensating.

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Fri May 20, 2016 5:29 am
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Storygirl95 says...

Believe it or not, every single novel I've ever written came from a song. I'll be going about my day like normal and then a song will come on my iPod on shuffle and a story will just explode in my head. It's really fun to experience. Of course, developing the characters and fine tuning things and building up the world all come later. But the people and the story come to me with that song.
It's extra fun when songs that turned into novels pop up because it's like reliving writing it all over again, and I love that. ^_^
Johnny was a chemist's son but Johnny is no more, for what Johnny thought was H2O was H2SO4. :wink:

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Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:37 pm
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JuliasSneezer says...

The Cave came from a picture of a well online. You could see through the ground, a chamber underground with a waterfall and such. Here's a link!

phpBB [media]
"When in doubt, improvise!"
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Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:08 am
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Mea says...

My baby Mixing Magic was born when I was pretty fed up with my LMS novel and realized I wanted to write fantasy. A lovely middle grade fantasy with fairies and unicorns and centaurs just like the ones I'd loved as a kid. And I wanted the main character to be a fairy. That turned into wanting to tell a story from the "sidekick" point of view - so I have a human girl who's stumbled into the fairy world, but instead it's the story of the fairy who befriended her.
We're all stories in the end.

I think of you as a fairy with a green dress and a flower crown and stuff.

I think you, @Deanie and I are like the Three Book Nerd Musketeers of YWS.

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Fri Jul 22, 2016 4:23 am
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SacredPen says...

Though it's not posted to this site (as everything I wrote before high school was cringy and cliche), I got the idea for "A Trip To The Woods" after- and please bear with me on this one- binge watching every episode of Digimon Xros Wars and Black Butler just for the nostalgia. It reminded me that life is what happens when you make other plans, and no matter how much you think you have down pat about the world, you never know how or when it may all suddenly warp.

The second inspiration for "A Trip To The Woods" was my own situation of being bullied for 7 years and going through the crisis of living vs staying alive. It was a terrible ordeal that made me question whether or not I should try to make an impact on the world or simply drift among anyone who hasn't done anything significant. The main character in "A Trip To The Woods" uses constant over-analytical thinking and lots of genetic modification to keep himself alive while questioning himself as to why he chose to not do anything important, while Sacred- the second main character- is a representation of my insecurity about how I look to other people. He uses non-emotional impulsiveness, over-the-top violence, and lots of quick-witted comments to stay living the rocky and unstable life he has. He has only ever questioned himself once about why he chooses to let his imagination determine how his life goes, as opposed to just "being normal."

Sorry for the soap box speech.
"I do suppose we take those."
"Nothing is sacred to the eyes of vengeance."
"Anger and sorrow are both a trigger pull away from ending. Just depends on who you aim at."

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Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:57 am
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Lordofkittys says...

My novel that I am currently working on isn't on this website, but it seems my inspiration is somewhat unique to other people. Ever since I was a little itty bitty kid I would play video games and board games. If the video game had a sandbox option where I could just play around in and do random stuff in it, that was normally where I spent most of my time. I would always make up my own stories to go along with the video game that would feature its own battles and heroes. For example, if any of you have played The Age of Empires II that is where I would make my own armies fight in my alternate history battles. I would play board games with myself as well (Its not as sad as it sounds I promise :wink: ), where I would just use the pieces as an interactive story that I made. I got my idea for The Endless War when playing a future risk. These types of games always allowed my mind to be the most creative, so they usually are most of my inspiration for my stories.

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Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:13 am
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SunsetTree says...

basically, the kind of story I wanted to read didn't exist.

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Sat Feb 18, 2017 2:05 am
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inktopus says...

I watched Attack on Titan in 2013. I began to write. It was awful. It evolved (a lot). Now I have Scolopendra (which is decidedly not Attack on Titan).
insert profound quote here

Formerly Stormcloud

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Sat Feb 18, 2017 2:39 am
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Cub says...

It's sort of hard to pin down where I got the ideas for most of my novels.
I guess I got the idea for 'Death of a Lizard' (a novella, but I'm still counting it), from 'Lord of the Flies'. In 'Death of a Lizard', the characters are all middle-school boys from twelve to fourteen. They end up killing each other off in the end (that's usually my way of finishing stories).
I probably got the idea for 'Flight of the Phoenix' from 'Shane.' Somehow I turned 'Shane' from a Western about a mysterious gunslinger into a sci-fi novel about a revenge cycle. Yeah. I have issues.
The novel I'm currently working on, the first in a fantasy series, came from when I was doing research for a report on signers of the Declaration of Independence. I picked the youngest signer, twenty-six year old Edward Rutledge. That got me thinking about revolutions, and that jumpstarted me to writing a novel about teens amidst a revolution (in other words, every single dystopian teen novel in the world.)
CUB 8)

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Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:07 pm
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ChildOfNowhere says...

Ha. Slaves in Grace, my main WIP, came from a simple challenge a friend and I did quite some time ago, during a bad depression period for both of us when neither was able to write for months. We gave ourselves some goals and random things to include-- needless to say, by now I've had to tweak most of those things, but I'm still working on it, and it's actually been my "thing to go to agents with" from day one.

These Brilliant and Beautiful Lies, my current LMS novel, actually has its roots in an idea I had when I was like 15, but that story can be shortened to "Inquisition is interesting, but so is an alternate world with creepy masks, strange time magic, and ships that sail the skies-- oh look, characters and plot are happening" :mrgreen:
Writer of words; doodler of forest sprites


"What is a poet? An unhappy person who hides deep anguish in his heart, but whose lips are so formed that when the sigh and cry pass through them, it sounds like lovely music."
— Søren Kierkegaard, Philosopher & Theologian