Starting my novel and/or memoir?

HI guys, I'm 14 and need some help. I grew up through some really hard times, etc., and want to write a novel about them. I'm thinking fiction so I'm not closed into the memoir being only composed of true events. I just need help with a few things. First, I need an intro. How do you start the novel? I feel so awkward just starting the story right away. Second, any ideas on some twisted plot kind of thing that'd be interesting? The story is going to be about the problems drug addiction can cause for a person and his or her family. They can ruin your life know what I mean?

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  • 8 years ago
    Best Answer

    Hey there :)

    Starting a novel is, in my opinion, one of the absolute hardest parts. That first scene is so difficult to get down on paper. What you need to do is decide *where* the story needs to start. Choose something significant.

    I used to work with an editor on my first chapter, and she gave me this advice: "the reader came to you for a story. In the first scene, you need to promise them that they will get a good one. Don't waste a single sentence."

    If you get really stuck, check out "Your First Novel" by Ann Rittenburg and Laura Whitcomb. Aside from being a generally great read, they really help you get started. I advise most other young writers to grab a copy, as it's always good just to have nearby.

    But before you even *think* about writing, you gotta hit the books. A good writer is absolutely willing to do this sort of research. You may have experience with drug addiction and things like that, but you still need to make sure you've got the facts right.

    When you do research, pick .gov or .org sites, or even better, go and get some books. After a speedy search on Google, I picked up these sites for you to get started with:

    http://www.drug-addiction-support.org/drug-addicti...

    http://www.unodc.org/pdf/technical_series_1995-03-... (this looks particularly good)

    http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/drugs-family-im...

    You'll want more than that, but they're a start.

    Here's my advice for researching:

    1) Print out pages and pages and pages of it.

    2) Go to the kitchen, make yourself a hot drink.

    3) Take the hot drink and the papers somewhere quiet (your room, the local library, whatever) with no distractions.

    4) Take out a highlighter and notebook.

    5) Highlight. Take notes. Drink ze hot drink.

    Boom. Easy. So many young writers think they can skirt by without doing any research on their issue, but those who actually research generally churn out better stories.

    You need to decide the twist for yourself. It's not all right to ask for other people to make that up for you. Don't worry, though - I find that, during researching, I get inspired :) Try checking out some true stories from drug addicts!

    Good luck :)

  • 8 years ago

    I think maybe starting off with the definition of addiction, either the plain dictionary definition or the definition used in psychology or a quote from a pledge or slogan for a narcotics anonymous type group would be a good intro. It start the story off immediately with drug addiction without you having to go right into the characters. Then you can follow it with something like "You're never alone in addiction; you bring your friends and family right down with you. The drugs might as well course through their veins; so much harm spreads as easily as it spreads through your blood stream. Drugs may get you high, but it brings everyone else so low." I think this way you can set up the idea but you don't have to jump in immediately with the characters facing this you can ease into it because the reader will make the connection and keep it there in the back of their minds as they continue to read and then if you wait to "reveal" things at the end, there will still be a surprise moment of "It's finally been said out loud! Everybody knows!" a good jump of dramatic irony.

    Good luck!

  • gramps
    Lv 4
    8 years ago

    Just start it any way you want. The best way is with some kind of action.

    The important thing is to introduce the main character early in the story by working them in to the actions some how. Tell the reader as much about them as you can without going into boring detail. Example: John was a slightly overweight, balding man of about thirty five, his wife; Jane, a one time model; lived ....

    Try to imagine yourself as the reader rather than the writer.

    Forget the memoir, unless you're famous.

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