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Question
Hi Jannie.

I'm 19, and have always loved to write and just recently thought about writing a story on my life so far, but changing the characters in the story. I have wrote down what characters will be doing what in the story but i don't know how to start, as in the layout or anything. Just need a bit of advice.

It's really on Me growing up, Love, Family, Friends I still need to think of plots, i want a lot of different twists.

Any advice you can give would be great, sorry if i've not gave you a lot to work with.

Thanks hope to hear from you soon

Rachel

Answer
Hello Rachel,

First, I am concerned with your written question.

With numerous errors, I can tell you need to join an Online writers group in order to learn the rules of writing, spelling, proper grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, what to capitalize and what not too; the rules.

Let me give you an example:

"I'm 19, and have always loved to write and just recently thought about writing a story on my life so far, but changing the characters in the story."

That is a "run-on" sentence. Too many words and too long.

Try:

I am 19 and have loved writing. I have recently thought about writing my life's story but change the characters.

And, you wrote:

"I have wrote down what characters will be doing what in the story but i don't know how to start, as in the layout or anything. Just need a bit of advice."

"I have wrote" is bad grammar and using "wrote" in the wrong tense. It should be "written."

Also, using written "down" is redundant. It is automatically "down" on paper when writing. So, refrain from using the obvious.

Capitalize "I"  when corresponding and get used to the capital. You are not in chat or text messaging, and there is a time for proper.

"don't know how to start, as in........." that is also incorrect grammar and sentence structure.

Try:

I have written an outline of the characters and their rolls, but don't know where to begin with the layout. I need advice.

You wrote:

"It's really on Me growing up, Love, Family, Friends I still need to think of plots, i want a lot of different twists."

"Me" is not capitalized. "love, family, friends" is not capitalized. Do not capitalize any word unless it is a title before a proper name, town/city, state, etc. These are the things you will learn in a writers group.

_________________________________________

My first advice is to join an Online writers workshop or group and read and learn the rules of writing.

As you write, you can post chapters for other, more seasoned writers to read and critique. You can learn a lot what these writers tell you. Think of them as your reading audience.

To answer your question concerning the beginning: write an outline.

You need an outline of the entire story. For instance, the first few years that you will begin with and the events, then chronologically the next years, and so forth.

Or, you can begin in the present day and reflect back to tell the life story and come full-circle in the end back to the present day with the conclusion.

You need to make a detailed character profile outline.

Their names, date and place of birth, where they grew up and went to school,  and if they went to college and where. What did they major in? Their physical description; height, weight, build and body frame, eye color, hair color, facial features: big nose, clef in the chin, ears that stand out, scars and tattoos.... you need likes and dislikes, interests, pet peeves, quirks-- all of it.

This helps you to create the character and make it become 3D and also keeps you on track as you write about them.


No one can help you with "plots" and twists if it is a real autobiography. If you intend to fictionalize it, then you can create what you want.

I would begin with the main character telling the life's story in the present day and tell it, then circle back to present day after being told the life story, and conclude. The twists can be exaggerations of events in your life; take an event and stretch it to an extreme; such as the worse possible scenario or what ever you can think of.

Add events, people, places, etc., to your story to make it interesting.

But every story plot has subplots; those are other plots within the main story; it can be many. Characters are people and they have their life's dilemmas and challenges, their relationships, hardships and tragedies. Use those to create subplots. Those evolve and develop into subplots of crisis and resolutions. It gives the reader the opportunity to cheer the characters on or wish them dead, what ever the case may be.

Good luck with your outlines and character profiles. Once those are completed, you mind will be loaded with creativity.

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Jannie Balliett

Expertise

I am a published writer, Chief Editor and own A1 Editorial Service. I teach writing, specializing in novel writing, and creative writing. I can answer most any question concerning writing a book, plot and characterization, tighten the prose, and the editing process, and help advise with publishing and the requirements of obtaining a literary agent.

Experience


I'm a published writer, freelancer, and Chief Editor and own A1 Editorial Service. I teach writing for my two Online writer workshops.

Organizations
Sisters In Crime Internet Chapter, The Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Brazos Writers Group.

Publications
Writers Post Journal magazine, May 2006 issue, Augusr 2006 issue, Nov/December 2006 issue and soon in 2008, On A Whim, flash fiction anthology, offered in Barnes & Nobles and Amazon.

Education/Credentials
Some college, creative writing, fiction writing

Past/Present Clients
I have numerous clients using my service through my editorial service and numerous members in my Online writer workshops.

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