Let’s Begin at the Beginning

Okay, let’s look at the beginning of one’s manuscript. Or story, or whatever you choose to call it.

For me, beginnings just happen. A sentence or two pops into the forefront of my mind and ricochets around until I am so frustrated I have to get to a pen or keyboard and write it down, then more materializes. No brainstorming, no throwing darts at a cork-board covered with sticky notes of ideas. Just my insanity demanding release.

Some, I am sure, do have problems coming up with ideas, and, truth be told, if I were asked to write something right now that I had not written before, I probably would have to think on it for a while. Ideas are not waiting in line in my mind, patiently standing by for their turn to leap out onto a page.

There are helpful websites and blogs out there. Some will have prompts, others will have techniques which have helped a few people come up with something to write. A simple Google search for “writing prompts” gives over 5 million results. The problem I have found with most searches like this are that there are way too many repeats of the same webpages, and a lot of the others just regurgitate things others have said. So, how does one come up with relevant ideas?

It all depends on what you want to write. Fiction or non-fiction? Romance or sci-fi or mysteries or steam punk, or even a combination of two or more? The genre of what you wish to write is just as important as finding ideas on what to write. As for myself, I write fiction. Real life stories tend to bore me. Sure, there are a lot of interesting things happening in the world. I do read the occasional news story, but I don’t follow a particular issue from where it starts to its outcome. I do not care to write romance, don’t have the reasoning skills to pen mysteries, and my only history with crime was getting caught after I got drunk and committed it.

Once you figure out where you want your story, then you can think of when you want it to take place. Past, present, future? The same time, but a different “reality”? You could even take a real event and have it turn out completely different. I believe that one can write whatever comes into the mind, as long as you are not just rewriting something from someone else. There are those who write what is called “fan-fic”, which they build on what someone else started. My belief is that these people think they can write a better piece than the original author, or think the original did not take the right direction, or the direction the particular writer doing the alteration thought it should have. Personally, I want to write my own works. I may be influenced by other authors, but I will not take their writings and try to make them mine.

There is another search I did for “story ideas” which gave me the option for “story ideas generator“. That one gave me 16 million results. As with most people, I usually look at the first page of results and choose one that looks good, but I right click and open in a new tab or window so I can still have the results available in case I don’t get what I’m expecting. One of the results leads to a website called Archetype. Though I have not used it, there seems to be some interesting links. There’s a “Plot Scenario Generator”, “Character Generator” and “Everyday Problems Generator”.

So, there are places to get ideas to write about if you are having trouble coming up with one yourself. As I said, coming up with an idea is not really where I have the most difficulty. I’ll get into some other issues during the course of this blog, and eventually get to my issues. Who knows? Maybe someone will be able to give me the help I need. But hopefully, I’ll be able to help just one person who is struggling with an issue that I have not too big a problem with.

Till next time; Have a Great Day!

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