Starting something from scratch could be difficult. That’s why we all need some guidance in order to get it right. There are some useful tips I will share with you.
First of all, there are different things that work for different people. Agatha Christie could write the entire book in two days. Even though it’s really inspirational, we should not try doing something like that. Especially if you are writing a novel.It takes a time to make something valuable.
You don’t have to start from the beginning of the story. Actually, I don’t remember starting from the top. Ever. I usually start thinking about my characters first. I write everything down and once I know who they are and what they are capable of, I will start building the actual story. This is because you have to humanize your characters first. More about that later in this very post.
First, you have to understand basic elements of every story. Those elements are also the steps you should work on when writing a book. So let’s start:
1. CHARACTERS AND SETTING
As I already said, you characters are the first thing you should completely explore and understand, because they have to carry the story. Make them realistic. No one is perfect in real life. You want to make them alive in the reader’s mind. The hero of your story could be great, but he/she should not be “one layer” character. Even the best of us have something bad in us. Sometimes we show envy or jealousy. Real people are flawed. Make sure your characters show that side at some point as well. Also, the villain of the story is not the demon. Even the worst people in the world can show empathy or love for someone. They should have a lot of layers, but it has to be believable. Sometimes you will want to connect the pure evil character with crying at some point and that is okay. But be careful, connect it, explain it through narrator’s eyes if you have to. Just don’t put it all in there, leaving your readers confused and making your story all over the place. The setting is the place where it all happens. You can change it through the story, but in the beginning, you will have to explain it to the readers so they could imagine it in their heads. Your setting could have a flow, or you can shift your setting from place to place, from one period in time to another, from past to present to past again. There are a lot of possibilities. What you will choose depends on your story. Do not complicate the setting if there is no real point. Also, do not set the time 500 years ago if you have little to no knowledge about that time. It will make you look ridiculous and you don’t want that. Think about it, write it down, change it as many times as you need. And when everything falls into place you will feel it.
After a while you will need some kind of conflict in your story, to keep the readers interested. It could be the inner conflict in your protagonist’s mind. It could be the real conflict between some characters. Thin abut it. This is really important part of the story. It will make it or break it. If you have so-called “eh” conflict, your story will be seen as “eh” story. This is what your readers will remember. Make it memorable and strong.
3. RISING SUSPENSE
Here you will work on the conflict, even further. Sometimes the conflict of the story is just one crucial sentence. And that is okay, it’s kind of like a shock to your readers. Most of the times, the conflict is something more elaborate. After that initial conflict, you should raise the suspense or action. You will write about the problems or your character’s inner thoughts. But keep it rising. Here the crucial part is building it up until the culmination.
This is the highest high of the story in terms of excitement. The climax is the place where everything falls apart or falls into place, where you start understanding the previous clues. This is the place that will make your readers cry or excited. This pretty much depends on your story. There are different kinds of culminations that could make you feel all sorts of emotions. I leave this to you ad your creativity because every story is different.
5. RESOLVING THE PROBLEM
If your story requires resolving the problem, this is where you should resolve it. But sometimes authors want to leave their stories unresolved and keep it mysterious or really sad. It’s completely acceptable option. Again, it depends on your story and how you want to end it. If you want to solve the problem in the culmination, you will need that transition with the falling action. Do not make and solve the problem in two pages. It will not make your readers relive it. Make them feel. The end could be left unspoken if that is your thing, it could be powerful and unexpected making your readers cry or be shocked and wanting more.
My advice is leaving it unfinished if you want to make it into a series. That way your readers will be hooked on your next story before it’s even written and the sales will be much better.
Please leave your opinion, advice or question. I will be happy to answer.
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