Getting your story off the ground

Hi all,

Long-time reader, first-time writer. I’d like to ask the authors on this site: how do you get your story out of your head and onto the page/screen? Say you have an idea for an interesting and hot story in your head. What’s your process for getting it on the page? Do you just start writing and see where you end up, or do you take the time to write an outline to get your thoughts together? This might be a thing where each author has his own style, and it might just be a case of each person finding what works best for themselves, but I’d like to hear from some seasoned authors on this.

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Hey there.

My process is basically to write (or dictate using the dictate function on Word) my work down. I have a number of ideas that often pop into my head. Those ideas all go onto a sheet of potential story lines; I limit myself to a set few that get the attention (Army in Black, Bargain, Soldier Slave) and then start putting the text down. It varies between sessions, some sesssion come easier and 1000 words appear on the screen via dictation very quickly; others I’m lucky to get 200-300 words in the time. But writing is a process, so don’t expect to come to you all at once. Sometime the words will flow out easily, other times you’ll search for them. Just keep at it.

Once you have a good amount of material down read through and begin editing. I use the Read aloud function on Word to hear where sentences sound grammatically strange in first edit and then to hear if they flow in the later editing. But the process is write and edit until you feel comfortable with it. Hope that helps.

First of all, your first story was amazing, especially for your first attempt!

To answer your question: I usually start to form the idea in my head. I add scenes, ideas and events in my mind over the course of multiple days.

Then I sit down and write. Usually, I’m so excited that the first chapters almost write themselves. The problem is keeping up, I find that my excitement wanes and it’s getting harder and harder to continue the story. That’s why I rather resort to short, one shot stories now.

For me, there’s often an image or physical moment that inspires me to write. I write with that image or moment in mind – how can I build to it in the most realistic way possible? (Or even the most stylized way possible, depending on what I’m writing.)

One thought usually leads to another and before I know it, I’ve got a plot!

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@New_Guy_in_Town, @Martin, @absman420,

Thank you all for your responses. I guess I’m just at a point where I have ideas for a longer story but not really a way to connect them. I’ll start with an idea and begin writing, but inevitably will get sidetracked by one point or another. So, I’ll start off at Point A with Point B as my destination in mind but somehow end up at Point G and wonder how I got there.

Just writing is easy (or easier, more like) for one-off stories, but longer, multi-part stories of the type I’d like to attempt are trickier. Maybe making a skeleton outline of the points I want to hit and then filling in the rest as I go along would be a good idea. Or maybe I just need to shut up and keep writing! If the story ends up going where I don’t want it to go, well, that’s what the backspace key is for, I guess!

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A very interesting question - I find the process of how people write fascinating.

I wish I could plan my stories in advance, but I find doing so ‘cold’ almost impossible. I start with an idea and then begin writing. As I write, I find that the ideas begin to flow and the story develops from that. I generally have a vague idea of how I want the story to end, but not always.

Once the fist draft is written, I go through it carefully, correcting the spelling, grammar and altering parts which seem clumsy.

I am now trying to discipline myself not to publish stories until they are complete, but there is a huge temptation to publish each episode as soon as it is written which can lead to plot dead-ends later on as I have found to my cost. A couple of times I have had to completely change a chapter after publishing to get my story back on track.

Hope this helps.

My style is very much like Martin’s. I often start with a core scene or idea, then I ask myself “How exactly would this work?” or “How did we get to this point?” (depending on how vague or specific the idea is). Then, once I’ve got a good idea of that scene, I start to imagine what came before or what will follow after it. Often, these are just in my head, but they often also turn into masturbation fantasies, which can really help flesh out (no pun intended) the specifics of any sexual interactions.

Sometimes, this continues for months or longer for me, with little or nothing on paper. On the other hand, sometimes, I’m inspired, and I just bang out whatever’s in my head and worry about details and refinements for the next pass.

Either way, I find that as I write, I’ll often realize that something I imagined happening doesn’t feel true to the characters or is just unworkable somehow. Then, I have to decide whether to alter what I’ve written so that it gets to where I wanted, if I should tweak the original concept to work better, or if I should abandon it altogether. Then, you rinse and repeat in future drafts, or just in your head, until you’re happy with what you’ve got.

This quote is everything. Same for me. Masturbation fantasies make the basis of great stories!

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Yes, a skeleton is often helpful. For me, that’s usually just bullet points or sometimes a few sentences, then as I write, I regularly make sure I’m generally heading in the right direction. Similarly, if I’m putting down a story for the night, which I know sometimes ends up being a lot longer, I’ll usually just add in a few notes wherever I left off as to where I was going (formatting them in whatever way makes sense to you so you don’t think they were part of your story).

I have the same problem - I’m too eager/impatient to get something down so I can publish it, resulting in publishing an OK story that could have been better had I just cooled my jets and sat on it some more.

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There are a lot of ways to do it. One way that psychologists get people to write is by giving someone a prompt and saying “you have 6 minutes to complete the task. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, etc.” I have done this, and a lot of what I write is crap, but then I reread it, cull through the stuff I don’t like, and take care of the grammar/spelling errors (not well, I am terrible at those things). And expand on what I like. This technique at lease gets something off the ground in my experience.

I’m someone who very casually writes stories on my free time, So please take my advice with a grain of salt lol.

I make up a hot (to me at least) sci-fi erotic scene in my head. Then from there I think to myself “how did these characters get here?” And “where would the plot go from here?” And then I just kind of build the story from there (which i will admit is painfully obvious in a couple of my stories). then, If I want to make it a series I think to myself “how would this fit into a larger narrative?” And write it from there.

If I actually have a set plan for a collection of stories (which is the case with my Perfect Product series) I think of the series as a whole and how I’d want the reader to be exposed to the world piece by piece. Then I write down an out line of what events happen in each story and build from there.

Side note: this goes for any author tbh, I have pretty bad dyslexia and if there’s one thing this website has taught me (besides how good constructive criticism is ) it’s that you should always do heavy grammar revisions where auto correct could have screwed you over. Trust me, I’ve learned this the hard way

Hope this helped <3

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For me, it always starts with some fantasy about the method of transformation. When I wrote ‘Control Yourself’, I was thinking about cock cages and what a chastity curse would look like. When I wrote ‘A Stranger Comes to Town’, I was thinking about transforming men entirely by changing their attitudes and fetishes - though that obviously evolved as the story went on. When I wrote ‘Welcome to My Party’, I was thinking about an app where you could photograph men and tweak them to your hearts desire.

Once I’ve got the method of transformation, I start thinking about characters. Who would actually be motivated to use it? How would they want to use it to their benefit? How might it go right and how might it go wrong? In general, I like underdogs using the transformation to become hotter, cooler, more popular, etc.

For ‘Control Yourself’, I made the protagonist a nerd who wanted to be cool but never figured out how, until the transformation gives him the boost he needs. For ‘Stranger’, the protagonist is the devil himself, using his abilities to destabilize the balance between good and evil in an area, and in turn using that result to find his way home. In ‘Welcome to My Party’, the protagonist is an uber nerd who can make technology do just about anything, but he wishes he had friends.

Once those things are in place, I carefully write the first… maybe 300-500 words? I put a lot of emphasis on making the characters feel real and interesting, giving them their own little quirks, making sure that the story has the right beat and rhythm to draw in a reader.

And then I’m on a roll. Then I just keep typing, always trying to follow the decisions that these characters would actually make. Sometimes I get stuck, and I realize that I’m trying to force the character in an unnatural direction. Sometimes I can’t stop typing until I’m done, because dammit, they’re telling me exactly what happened and I probably only get one chance to write this down.

And honestly… I start three or four times more stories than I ever finish. I think it’s totally okay to put down a story if it’s not working, if the characters lead you in a boring direction, or if you just aren’t having fun anymore.

-D

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