Fiction 101: 4 Step Program image

 

Have you ever started writing a story only to find yourself stuck in the middle with no idea where to go next? By using the following four crucial parts of a story, you might just kiss writer’s block good-bye for good!

Step 1: Deciding Your Story’s Theme

A story functions at its best when a theme is decided in advance. Much like an essay’s thesis statement, the theme is the controlling idea of your story. It doesn’t have to be something complicated, just enough to help keep the story flowing. For example, if you’re writing a story about two men who quit their jobs to sail across the seven seas, your theme can be ‘you can do anything you put your mind to.’ Once you’ve done this, write a quick paragraph or two describing your thoughts and feelings toward your desired theme in order to help sort your thoughts and possibly brew some new ideas for later

Step 2: The Setting

This is where you will decided what time your story will take place in, like past, present, and future. Once you’re done this, pick where you would like your story to take place. Is it in Los Angeles, California or Athens, Greece? Is it even on our planet or in the same dimension?

Step 3: Creating your Characters

By developing your characters before you begin to write, you’ll be able to learn about them before they’re journey begins. In turn, they will seem more real to your readers. Developing a character doesn’t have to be a chore. Create a quick list that describes what your character looks like, along with age and brief history. It also helps to write a couple of pages through the eyes of your character, much like you would do when writing a first person narrative. Doing this helps the character come to life in your eyes. Keep in mind that if you don’t believe in your characters, nor will you readers.

Step 4: The Plot

Many authors hate this part of writing and feel that it makes the story seem artificial. However, this could not be farther from the truth! I believe the biggest problem is that authors do not like to feel trapped when creating their story. In reality, though, the plot is only there as a guide and can be changed as your story progresses. It merely helps keep the story moving in the event that you get stuck. Taking a few days to plan before beginning a story could save you weeks later!

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