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Hi as it says my name is amber, I've been interested in writing fiction since i was little but never actually wrote anything before. I just started writing this story thats based what i dream about(strange i know)but I'm stumped how to actually get started going about it. So my question would be how would you go about getting started? I know you need a plot and a story line which isn't exactly easy for me for I'm not very good at following plots etc...Anyway any help would be really appreciated
Hello Amber:

First, you don't need a plot AND a storyline, you need a plot OR a storyline. What's the difference? A plot is indicated if your emphasis is on events rather than characters; a storyline is for a character-driven story. Accomplished writers turn out books where the characters/events are balanced, as in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, but beginners are advised to pick one or the other. Which intrigues you most? The people in your dreams (including you), or the events?

Next, you need a plan. If you have chosen a plotted story, where the emphasis is on events, some outlining is indicated. If you prefer a storyline, some authors recommend that you create a character, put him/er into a situation, and see what they do. The starting process is slightly different for each, so I need to know your choice before I can advise you further. Please come back and let me know.

I hope this helps. If it does, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high score over 850 questions.

And good luck with your writing!

oh sorry. its actually both that intrigues me. But if i had to choose it would be the events. is it difficult to do both plot and a storyline?  i prefer to go with the plot then the storyline because i find it easy creating from a event then to simple "play it be ear". actually i have another question as well.. well three actually it okay to begin the story with a conversation or would it be better to describe the when,where,why,first. 2.should one do something like a prologue to let others get a feel for whats going to happen or what was destined to happen or should one just jump into the story. 3. in your opinion which would be better for the readers

Hi Amber:

As I said before, it takes a fairly skilled writer to merge plot and storyline successfully. Of course, if you are just writing for yourself, family and/or friends, you may do as you please. But if you hope to be published, why not make it as easy as possible for yourself?

As for the beginning, start your story two seconds before everything changes for good. That's the "rule." The beginning must be interesting enough to catch the eye. If you can write truly effective description, go with that. No prologues. Editors hate them. Just jump in. Readers like to be dropped into the story when something is happening. Too many beginning writers feel they should "set the stage" with a sunset or a beach scene in which nothing is happening. It takes great skill to pull this off. For example, which is more interesting:

The dying seagull dropped through the sunset.

The sunset was pink and purple.

Another thing readers like is focus. What is your focus? In other words, why are you writing this story? If you plan on formulating a plot, you will need a premise, but that is the subject of yet another question!

I hope this helps. If it does, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high score over 850 questions.

And good luck with your writing!  

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Susan Rand


I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.


I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

BA degree in Written Communication

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