Monday, March 31, 2014

Crafting Your Best Story - Writing Tip #1

Crafting Your Own Story is a book of writing tips that I contributed to Wattpad a while ago, but I thought I'd like to post the tips on this blog as well. I'll post a new one every Monday until I get to the end of the series.


Crafting a good story is hard.
You need a hooky idea, a cast of characters, and a plot. You need three acts, an inciting incident, and a terrific climax. Also character arc and story arc. Setting, conflict, tension.
And the list goes on.
The whole thing could be overwhelming to a beginning writer, and even for those of us who have been writing for a long time. We are all constantly learning how to keep getting better.
Good thing writing stories is so much fun!!

Tip #1:

Finding a Great Idea

Every great story begins with an idea.
Not just an idea, but a hooky idea. A hooky idea is something you can sum up in one line.

ie: Girl falls in love with a vampire who’s committed to not killing her.
Girl grows a blossom out of her back and finds out she’s a fairy just in time to fight the trolls and save her fairy kingdom.
Girl has uncontrollable time travel adventures and accidentally takes her secret crush back in time.
Germany boy growing up in WW2 stops believing the propaganda fed to him by his peers.

So, you have a hooky idea, now what?

You need to develop the idea. Take some time to “think write”. Sit in the sun, put your feet up and mull it over. Who is this story about? You don’t need to know everything about this person, but gender, age and situation are important. What plot ideas that support your hook come to you? Jot them down. A few new ideas, variables, crazy possibilities will come to you—write them all down. How about a title? Pick a title. It may change but you need something to work with.

Once you have a story starting to form, open a file on your computer and call it Hooky Book (whatever your working title is) notes.

You’ll find that as you go about your day and your week, more ideas will come to you. Enter them in your note file. These don’t all have to make sense. They’re just ideas you may or may not use, but you don’t want to forget them.

Don’t rush this process. Give yourself time to let the creative juices flow. Consider it similar to baking a loaf of bread (only in the book writing case, you can do it in any order and you don’t need to follow a recipe). Take time to knead your ideas together. Give it more time to sit and rise. And well, the baking….that takes much, much longer. :D

At some point you will have an idea of what the beginning, the middle and the end will look like (though these, of course, are subject to change). Now you’re ready for the next stepStructure.

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