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Survey: Which is the hardest ACT for you to write/plan? : Conversation question • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Survey: Which is the hardest ACT for you to write/plan?

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
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Crono91
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Survey: Which is the hardest ACT for you to write/plan?

Postby Crono91 » Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:09 pm

I'm sure as we all know, "most" stories are made in three acts.

Act I: The beginning; setting up events.
Act II: Moving the plot along; subplots.
Act III: Bringing the characters into the rising climax and falling into the sweet or bittersweet end.

Which is the hardest for you to write/plan? And when I say hard, I mean hard to get the ideas flowing.

For me, it is always the second Act. I manage to think of a fantastic beginning with an equally fantastic and twisty ending, but there is that large second act--the bridge that connects both lands together--that causes me the most frustration.

How about you?
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mammamaia
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Re: Survey: Which is the hardest ACT for you to write/plan?

Postby mammamaia » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:30 am

i don't 'plan' i just write the story as it unfolds in my head... why don't you try that, instead of agonizing over a 'plan'?...
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louiseh87
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Re: Survey: Which is the hardest ACT for you to write/plan?

Postby louiseh87 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:42 am

I don't really plan in that much detail either. I definitely don't try to plan a structure.

I can say though that the bit I always find hardest is the bit right after the beginning, after I've got started but before the story really gets carried away. Not the middle so much as the end of the beginning. Sort of when I've established the characters and setting but not really got a feel for them yet.
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Re: Survey: Which is the hardest ACT for you to write/plan?

Postby updog » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:11 am

I don't plan ahead either, but every story has a beginning, middle, and end whether we plan it out ahead of time or not. The parts I struggle with are the opening paragraphs and the ending paragraphs. Everything else is pretty fun.
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Crono91
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Re: Survey: Which is the hardest ACT for you to write/plan?

Postby Crono91 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:43 am

:/ I never said just plan: i said "write/plan." For people who either just write, or for people who actually plan before writing. I personally think planning is needed--just like you can't just "film" a movie all freely. Something has to be planned. But that is just for me; perhaps all of you people are smart enough to not need to plan.

But alas, this wasn't a "I need help" question, it was just a survey to see where other people have a harder time with. Writing a book is no cake-walk.
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louiseh87
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Re: Survey: Which is the hardest ACT for you to write/plan?

Postby louiseh87 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:11 am

Louise :)

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James A. Ritchie
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Re: Survey: Which is the hardest ACT for you to write/plan?

Postby James A. Ritchie » Mon Jun 18, 2012 2:27 pm

I don't think in terms of acts. Or in scenes, for that matter. I just tell a story and don't worry for a minute about the story having parts. I want a seamless whole.

Having said this, the opening is always the hardest for me because it sets up the entire story. Get the opening right, and the story is half done, whatever it's length. I spend more time on the first two pages of a short story, or on the first chapter of a novel, than on the entire rest of the story.

Except on those toorare occasions when I sit down, start writing, and the opening just flows out.

Though I'm not sure "hardest" is a word I'd use, either. I've never found writing hard. Baling hay is hard. Digging a ditch is hard. Writing is just sitting down on your butt and writing/typing words. Beginnings take longer for me, but this doesn't make them hard.

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LMGilbert
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Re: Survey: Which is the hardest ACT for you to write/plan?

Postby LMGilbert » Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:10 pm

I always find the part in the middle, between the beginning and end, the hardest. But that's why it's so satisfying to see big chunks of the middle completed, or at least ready to edit & re-write!

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Re: Survey: Which is the hardest ACT for you to write/plan?

Postby jaus tail » Sat Jun 23, 2012 3:32 am

The toughest part for me is when I read a third person's critique on my story :D
its the beginning that i find tougher than the rest but i'd rather say that the middle and climax parts are easier for me to write.
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Re: Survey: Which is the hardest ACT for you to write/plan?

Postby rosebud » Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:22 am


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