Creating a story is the closest you will ever come in having complete and utter control over something!
It feels good, you have an opportunity to create a whole new world on paper, create people and situations and control every aspect of their interaction.
Some writers choose to freestyle it, while others plan their plot in advance.
Is One Way Better Than The Other?
No. It highly depends on your personality.
It can also depend on whether you are writing your own piece, or you were commissioned to ghost-write someone else’s story.
Creating a plot and outlining the major plot points in advance can help avoid writer’s block, and speed up the process.
But at the same time, it can be restrictive and prevent you from taking the story where it naturally wants to flow.
Story-telling is an art. Think of it like this, a painter might start throwing paint on a blank canvas and let the brush decide the path. While other painters might create a draft outline of their design on paper first, and then transfer it on a canvas later.
Freestyling a story needs no guidance or instructions.
But, if you are going to create the perfect plot ahead of time, we have put together tips for writers in 2020 to assist you in the process.
There is no need to complicate things too much. Just follow our steps, and allow some room for freestyling.
There are certain rules in developing good stories. However, we need to clarify that if you are a rebel and you decide to work with no rules, it does not mean your story won’t be good.
What Are These Rules?
Writer tips for 2020, here we go!
The theme of your story is the glue that pulls all your elements together to pass on the main message to your audience.
You can draw from the list of basic, well-known themes:
- Circle of life
- Good Vs Evil
- Coming of Age
- Survival and Heroism
Or you can pull from the list of more niche themes:
- Chaos Vs Order
- Empowerment (a lot of self-help books take on this theme)
- Chasing dreams
- Teenage journey
- Identity crisis
- Lost Honor
There are a lot more themes, not listed above. Do your best to pick a theme that inspires you, and then build a story around this to bring your theme to life!
This is what you want your readers to remember.
If someone were to be asked to describe your book, the answer most probably will start with the theme.
‘’ It’s a war book, where this and that happens…’’ or ‘’ it’s a coming of age story where the main character learns….’’
The plot is the means through which the story will unfold.
But before you decide that, let us share a quick hack with you. To speed up the process we have narrowed down this point into three possible scenarios:
- Man against man
- Man against nature
- Man against himself
Yes, it is that simple.
Pick which scenario fits your story best.
At this point, it is also a good idea to decide whether you will be writing in the ‘first’ or ‘third’ person, as well as the tense for the story.
The most common tense is ‘the past tense’ since naturally, most stories happened in the past, and that is why we can write about them now. It comes more naturally to most writers.
However, if you want to go for ‘cinematic’ feel in your story, we highly recommend ‘present tense’.
You need to develop your character(s) before getting started.
This character needs to be someone your audience can relate to. As long as it pushes your audience to feel something, then your character is doing a great job.
It is best that you do not describe your character, but rather show off the character (s) through the choices and decisions they make.
- Name your character(s)
- Define their relationship to other characters in the story
- Decide on their strengths and their weaknesses (remember no one is perfect)
- Define their appearance, location, age, work, education level and any other information that can help you write about this character as precisely as possible.
- What are their likes and dislikes?
- Their overall demeanor (happy, depressed, anxious, workaholic, etc)
- What are the drivers behind your character’s decisions
You can locate many guides and templates online that can assist you in building a character before you begin writing your story.
Where is your story going to happen?
Are you using a macro environment?
- A country
- A city
- A particular time-period
- A combination
Or will you be using a microenvironment?
- A house
- A school
- A hospital
- A combination
Tone and Style
Pick a tone that feels appropriate for the story.
Don’t obsess about using big words and complex sentences. Focus on getting the message across.
To make sure your book is easy to read and comprehend, use natural tone and style.
Think of it as if the book is speaking to the reader.
Do not repeat words when you have an opportunity to use a new word.
Of course, all tone and styling is part of the editing process more so, than the original writing process.