Question about the Stories

originally posted by Cheryl

Someone asked me once if I got the whole story when I started attempting to write this story and I wondered if I had. I think it's in images and I don't get it all, but some really seem to stand out. I got the beginning, middle and end but filler ins need to come in sometime. I wondered if Janny or other writers here got the whole story or pieces of it? This convention made me wonder this. It's seems like a puzzle to me and you have to put the pieces together. It's very interesting how it works. Thanks Janny and others here who write.

originally posted by StarGazer72

It's all about bits and pieces with me. The whole story? <laughs> The only time I know the whole story is when it's finished. :smiley: I tend to get what they call the 'two-thirds' problem - you're writing along and you know what you want to happen farther ahead, but you got nothing for that middle section between 'now' and 'then.' It just happens to me far more often than just at two-thirds of the way through hehe.

originally posted by Selene

Definitely pieces :smiley: Sometimes, I have no idea where I'm going even. On other occasions, I have some ideas about the future but no idea how to get there. I write from beginning to end and things tend to fall into place when I get there. I know other writers who just write in chunks–a piece here, a piece there, in no particular chronological order. Then of course, you can do it with an outline (doesn't work at all, for me, though if you can make it work, that does seem efficient). I doubt even those who follow an outline know everything beforehand though.


originally posted by Cheryl

Thanks sounds like me too. I have the beginning, middle and end. The end is very clear to me but the slow parts seem to give me a problem. I think I have some things in mind to keep it going till the big moments. It's like a puzzle to me that you have to figure out where all the parts go. Sounds like I'm doing things like everyone else. Just hope I keep the story flowing smoothly and hope it's not too cliche. I wrote last week and something came out of it I didn't expect to and it better then what I had in mind. It was fun to read it and find something had come out that I wasn't expecting to come. I have an outline and try to follow it but if I get told something better I'll go with that. Seems like I'm doing it right that's good to know. I miss Janny already.

originally posted by Blue

Does anyone ever have what I call "The Snags" where you know what is going to happen, but it just doesn't flow right?

I have a point in my own story, where one of the people responsible for the Prince's exile has fallen in love with his wife. This antagonist [for want of a better term, he was as much a victim of the plotting as the Prince] conveys the information to the Princess about the conspiracy against her husband and his own role in it. But HOW does he come to give her the information?

The Princess is taking cover in a hospital with her children, [she and the children are targets for assassination if they don't hide] and is learning to become a physician so that she can blend in better. The antagonist is the head of this hospital.

HOW would you resolve this? The antagonist is aware of her identity, and could easily betray her and her children to the real enemy, but because of his burgeoning love for her, will not do so. The possibilities I have seen are as follows:

1. In an attempt to warn the Princess of the danger she is in, confesses all, knowing he will sacrifice any credibility in her eyes.

2. In a fit of remorse, attempts suicide, and it is his deathbed confession that conveys the information.

3. Angry at her refusal, he snaps that her husband is a weakling who deserved all he suffered prior to his exile.

4. Being as much as victim as the Prince in this case, the very vulnerability that allowed him to be used as a pawn in the conspiracy also allows him to confess once the Princess hardens her questioning to the right degree.

Have I written myself into a corner?

originally posted by Auna

Have the plotters find out where she is and have the head guy have to reveal why he knows these people are coming for her and that she has to try and trust him long enough for him to get her to safety?

originally posted by Memory

I'd say go for number 1 - generally, the other options seem too make him too wishy-washy and ineffectual, but it's your story, Blue - do what you want! :smiley:

I think I'm the worst of all of you - I just start writing, with no idea of where I'm going, what the firm plot is, or how things are going to end. My on-going main project is my most disorganised. I would write random scenes for that as the mood took me, so I've ended up with a jigsaw or scenes spread throughout a story I wasn't entirely clear on. This has been going on, on and off, for years now, and I finally sat down and tried to draw an outline of the entire plot this summer. I managed to draw all the threads together, and I actually think it might work!

I write how I compose music - very instinctively, and the shape seems to form itself. I started another story last year, which is being serialised in our college magazine. This means I have to at least write in order this time, which is good for me, but I still didn't do an outline before I started. I'm the kind of person that lets it grow organically, but it always seems to work out in the end.

My current dilemma is how to stop a tramp from continuing to beat up and drag off one of my main characters. After breaking his arm and hitting his head when knocked off his bike, the character himself is in no state to get away, but having random passers-by come to his aid is a bit of a cop out… need to think about it some more. :smiley:


originally posted by Cheryl

Your character is in dire straits Memory. I've got mine in a cellar in chains. Now I wonder how he'll escape either by magical means from a sorceress or a knight errant and his men. Need to think what they want to do. The villain gets away. lol I think it works best to let the characters tell you what to do in the end. Listen and think seems to work best for me from what I've learned. I think romance would be the hardest thing for me to do. Since I don't read much of that and go for the action more. But I hope the characters tell us the stories in the end. I'll have to think about that Blue I don't want to give you a bad answer. I think Auna sounds right though.

originally posted by Blue

Memory, Auna, thanks very much for some food for thought. The Chief Healer [still haven't decided on a title for this guy, but he is very high ranked] was initially kind of a throwaway character. You were right, Memory, I did NOT want him wishy washy.

The Princess eventually questions what happened to her husband, and the role the Chief Healer played in his exile. The realization that the Chief Healer was as much a victim in this conspiracy, further gives her impetus to help destroy the villain's agenda.

Long and short of it, the Chief Healer is a very distant cousin to one of the chief villains, both of whom descend from a family of mentalists [those with psychic abilities such as telepathy, telekinesis, etc.]. Unfortunately, they also suffer various forms of mental illness in conjunction with their abilities, due to misuse of said gifts by their ancestors. The villain uses the Chief Healer's particular illness ruthlessly to help persecute any threat to his own personal power quest.

originally posted by Auna

Sounds interesting, and you are welcome. :smiley:

originally posted by Cheryl

Thanks for sharing your story Blue it sounds good hope I get to read it soon. I hope I keep mine going.

originally posted by Memory

Sounds complex, Blue - great!


originally posted by Blue

Memory, just looked over your story dilemma… could it be that the Tramp just gets bored after beating the snot out of the protagonist? Did he get what he was after? Passers by stopping to help might be a bit of a cop out, [BAD PUN AHEAD!! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!] but what about a police officer walking a beat, or driving past, seeing the situation, and putting a stop to it? What about a buddy of the Tramp, seeing his friend beating the snot out of a stranger and intervening? The character's lunch date seeing what is going on and either intervening, or getting a cop to help? Have you considered that though the character is not in any shape to get away, s/he still has lungs that work, and s/he can scream for help?

Perhaps the biggest question you should ask yourself: WHY is the Tramp beating up the character?


As for chronological disorder, who cares? Half the time, I have the scenes come out whenever THEY feel like it. What I have is an unconnected jumble of scenes, and I figure the WHEN can come later, when I get a better idea of where the story is going.

Have any of you ever come up with a great idea for an end of a story, before you ever come up with the beginning?


Janny has mentioned in the past that characters have hijacked scenes and improved them greatly. In SoM, for example, Talith was supposed to get to Avenor from Erdane. So was Pesquil. Rather than just cutting to the chase, both of them showing up in Avenor, the scene with Talith stealing Pesquil's clothing and towels, and essentially blackmailing him into taking her to Avenor came about. Not something Janny planned, and yet, it is still one of my favorite moments with both Talith and Pesquil.

In my case, a character who was supposed to die, simply refused to do so. The Captain of the Prince's Guard, he had just returned from taking the Prince into exile, and was very unhappy with the circumstances, especially since he disliked the new King. Instead of obeying orders and staying aboard ship, he slipped ashore for some leave time, trying to find some decent booze to drown his sorrows, in a puritan-like country that frowned on decent brewing. After spending futile hours trying to get drunk, he returned to the harbor, to find his ship afire, but no one attempting to leave it.

Originally, he was supposed to die with his shipmates, and a bottle with a message was supposed to miraculously find its way to the Prince's allies. BORING and a cliche to boot.

originally posted by Selene


I've never come up with the end first, but then I tend to write from beginning to end with no idea where I'm going :smiley:. Sometimes I do write scenes in no order at all, but they're still usually in the first third (At least, I think so. I haven't completed any of those. Yet :smiley:).

Characters hijacking scenes: Yup, that's happened. I had one character hijack the story, at one point. It was my intention to let him appear only briefly and though I knew he had a rather complex back-history, I didn't think he actually had much to do with this story. Instead he went and became one of the major characters and caused lots of complications I had never anticipated.

I was not displeased :smiley:

I suppose that I frequently have characters hijack scenes because I often have no idea where the plot is going. Characters always appear first to me, together with some type of conflict. Then I just sort of put the characters together and, well… they act like themselves and things happen :smiley:


originally posted by Memory

Thanks for the suggestions, Blue :smiley:

Said tramp is beating up character because the tramp is in league with the Otherworld powers who wish to violently invade our world, and my character is part of a student cell trying to prevent this. The tramp is ultimately wanting to take my character to one of the leaders of the Otherworld - someone who detroyed one college a year ago and murdered the then leader of the student resistance (nb: not all on the Otherworld wish to invade). As he's suffering from concussion, a broken arm and shock, I don't think my character's even in a position to shout for help! Hmmmmm… policemen are an idea…

Ahaaa! Just thought of something! Thanks Blue - you got my little brain working. Two other characters are at this very moment sitting in the college chapel (actually about 300 yards from where the tramp situation is). The character being beaten up was only recently musing that he had little protection against attack - Otherworldly or not. These two, however, do. They are two of the few who are able to 'waken' these stone pendants that originate from the Otherworld, and 'use' the power within them (more complicated than this, but would take too long to explain). However, what they don't yet know is that they're not using power from the stone; the stone opens the barriers inside themselves, and they are using their own natural talent. They also don't know yet that all this has happened before - the Otherworld invaded several hundred years ago, but eventually was repulsed somehow. Some friendly beings stayed and interbred with humans, and those small number who can 'awaken' the pendants are descendants of these pairings.

Right - to get back to my issue. This is the chance for the two characters in the chapel to demonstrate (to the reader and themselves) what the power the pendants gave them access to can do. They will save my character from the tramp and his planned fate! It will be a kind of mental magic at this point rather than something physical. It will also serve to draw the two chapel characters closer together, as they've been having disagreements over some things.

Yes! Thankyou :smiley:

originally posted by Blue

Other possibilities, Memory, are that perhaps the two in the chapel who come to the rescue have either overheard the action against their colleague, or somehow, these talismans [talismen?] serve warning as to an Otherworld presence? Possibly even to hostility against those who defy the evil of the Otherworld?


Anyone ever have a dream spark a story idea? The one I am working on did. My best friend's hubby Brian [AKA Bree] loves seals, especially harp seals. I had a dream of him in the arctic, his sketch pad in hand, drawing pictures of the pups. All of a sudden, a bunch of seal hunters start clubbing the pups for their fur, and Bree sprang into action. He dragged one pup out of harm's way in the nick of time, and as the hunter raised his club to clobber Bree, [a feisty Irishman], he pulled out a large caliber pistol and told the hunter, "Get away from here or I'll blow your $#@&ing brains out!"

I told Kat and Bree about it the next day, and both got a laugh out of it. Bree, who hates guns, said that otherwise, I had the sentiments and the profanity right on the money. Kat gave me some flak that I was having erotic dreams about HER man, but I told her that full arctic protective gear is not exactly what I would call a great turn on. Then we both ganged up on Bree, and made him turn funny colors for the rest of the day about my "erotic" dreams.

He is about the only the direct inspiration for the unfortunate Prince in exile mentioned above. This Prince befriends seals, sea lions, dolphins, orca, whales and sea otters. The rest of the Prince's persona, characteristics, and appearance are purely imaginary.

originally posted by Memory

I've often thought that a lot of my dreams could be turned into stories. My friends always comment, when I tell them about them, that I have very involved, imaginative dreams that usually follow some kind of complex story totally unrelated to my life! I'm quite often not 'me', and am usually the central character in some action adventure (quite often fantasy) tale.

Blue - The chapel is a place where it is possible, if you know how, to make contact with beings in the Otherworld. One character (A) used to do this to communicate with a being (E) friendly to their cause, but who probably died when another college was destroyed the previous year. The other character (T) is just learning how to do this, and didn't know that A knew how. They argued about it (A told T that he didn't realise just how dangerous it was), but A just had a thought that with their combined strength, they might be able to reach far enough in to contact E if she's still alive, but being held somewhere. When they open their senses to reach out, they will become aware of what's happening with the tramp and their friend, and use the power they're tapping into to override the Otherworld's influence on the tramp's mind and save their friend.

Now… just need to find the time to go write this!

originally posted by Cheryl

I get ideas during the night when I can't sleep or before sleep. I got a heroine that was Egyptian or of the Greek Isles. She had her arms crossed over her shoulders. I know that meant something. She had a huge pet cat. Her name was Isis. I'm wondering what we'll come of this and I think oh no research on Egyptian cultures. Seems like a lot of work in that story for someone new at this. I like her though and will keep her in my mind. I'm sure it's historical fantasy.

originally posted by Auna

Just add a hunky guy called Shazam and you got it! *giggles*… sorry couldn't resist.

I have very bizarre dreams at times. I have scraps of paper with what I remembered scrawled on em. Never tried writing a story on them since they are really nonlinear in time and disjoint.

originally posted by Cheryl

I remember Shazam LOL I'll keep her in my mind though. She was a strong image and those are the good ones. This won't be Shazam mark my words LOL These are like images it's weird not really dreams but like Janny calls them visions.