I can't help it but struggle with starting up a story. What do you anons do to get past the first hurdle?
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I like to start out with a question or a couple questions that then form the theme that I explore throughout my story. It serves as a sort of frame to hang everything else off of, and also helps me from getting too distracted with stuff that merely sounded cool or one-note characters.
Once I got a theme in mind I usually brainstorm a setting and maybe a few characters - with a theme in mind a few ideas are usually obvious, and even if they aren't ones I end up going with, they're a good jumping-off point. I'm a little bit backwards in that only at this point do I start really covering what happens to these characters in the setting, i.e, the plot.
The plot is a sort of push-and-pull compromise between how I think the characters would interact among each other, an exploration of the original theme - in a perfect world all character interactions would be an exploration of the theme in some way, but this isn't always the case - and setpieces that I think would make for fun/interesting events. I usually flesh out the beginning and end simultaneously, the ending representing a sort of "answer" for the question posted by the theme of the story that is gradually arrived at, and then write in a beginning-to-end fashion, maybe pausing here and there to record stuff I think should happen later on.
I don't adhere 100% to this plan; sometimes I'll write a couple setpieces that I then hang a theme and other characters around, but this is a good representation of what I usually end up doing.
I let it brew in my head for months, tell myself it's dumb, and then write it down a frenzied spree for several hours before realizing I was right all along
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