Column Profile
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PlanetKiller
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Michael Sweeney
Writing is hard work.
So you want to write a story. Perhaps you've chosen Star Trek fan fiction. You even have a few characters picked out.
Where do you start? How do you begin?
That is a good question.
A very good question.
I'm glad you asked that.

What was the question again?
I am not a prolific writer, hardly spinning out more than a few pages a year. The type of writing I do most is in code, and not the fun kind of code that won the war.
However, I have a found that there are similarities between writing a script to run automate some task and writing a new story.
Never start from scratch. Take a story you already like and just change the names of the characters. If the protagonist is named Fred, change his/her name to Barney. If the love interest is named Wilma, change her/his name to Betty.
See how easy makes it?
Now that we've got characters let spread our wings a bit and set up a location. Hmmmm. How about Bedroooouickifield
Springfield. Yeah.
Now in the town of Springfield, Barney and Betty are having an adventure. They are being... attacked... by... dinoooobots! Yes, robotic dinosaurs from the future. Or an alternate universe.
So Fred and er, Barney and Wilma, aaa... Betty are escaping from the volcano/robots and they have time to stop for a prolonged love scene so our less mature readers stay interested. Just as the lava/shiney teeth are about to burn them/tear them to shreds, they jump from their love nest and run naked across the Scottish highlands with Mel Gibson in blue face paint.
Maybe not.
Full body paint.
Yeah.
No.
Okay, so it really is hard to get started writing. And maybe I'm not the best person to write an article about that.
There is something that I am good at. Finding useful stuff in Google.
So here you go:
  • The Snowflake Method for Writing a Novel - This is a nice break down for starting a story, point by point, and a good metaphor to develop a simple kernel into a larger tale.
  • When to Start Writing the Play - While centered around playwriting, since most of us are exposed to TV writing, a form of playwriting, we tend to structure our fan fiction similarly.
  • Writing and the Web - This is about writing... and the web. And more, about how email and IM are changing how we write (or never learning in the first place).
  • How to Start Writing a Story - Even the Beeb wants to be helpful.
  • Creative writing exercises - The only way to write well, is to write poorly a great deal. Get over it.
  • Not Sure What to Say? Start Writing... - While not prose, copyrighting is just as hard, if not harder. Trying different styles and approachs will open avenues you won't otherwise consider.
  • And finally - I Don't Know Where to Start: Writing Letters of Condolence - Learn how to say your sorry after you have alientated all of your friends with your first Mary Sue.
    Enjoy!
  • Posted: 2005.11.18
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