You can either enjoy the story or write the story everyone enjoys.

{Day 1} Author's Essential Writing Pilot

 

Understanding A Story


Your primary goal in this entire guide is to answer one question: does your story make sense? If any part of your writing does not, you need to revise it. This might be a simple matter of adding a comma in a sentence or flipping the way the sentence reads. It also might mean a chapter needs to be scrapped or rewritten. It is all a part of the process. Once you answer this question, your book moves one step closer to being published.

There are five essential elements of a story: character, plot, setting, conflict, and resolution.  Your job as a writer: guide your characters through various settings, emotions, and scenarios so that so they can overcome (or succumb to) the conflict presented by the antagonist(s) and reach the resolution. This guide will take you through each element and how to polish your writing to its best form before hiring an editor, if you choose.

Character

Characters are the actors in your story. They carry out actions and make moves to advance the plot. Setting up realistic characters is essential in creating an engaging story. They have emotions, quirks, faults, likes, and desires just like all of us.

Plot

The plot forms the journey which characters embark; to solve a quest, delete drama, solve a murder, cure an illness, etc. Whether the objective is to grow as a person, conquer the monster, or find true love, the plot is the meat of the story.

Setting

The setting is the environment that the characters are in. Readers should be able to “see” the places as they read. The best writers add just enough details to pull the reader in so they can fill in the blanks in their minds. If done well, this This creates an authentic reading experience for each reader for each reader.

Conflict

Conflict is what drives your story. It gives your characters something to overcome as they proceed toward the resolution. Without conflict, there is no story, so this is a critical element in all of your writing.

Step 1: Distance 

First of all…

You’ve written your novel, typed that last word, and saved it (in several places, hopefully). Now what?

Now, you distance yourself from it. Seriously. Put the laptop away, close the notebook or however you write and go celebrate your achievement.

Put the book away!

Why? Because at this point you are so attached that you will explain away several critical mistakes, if you even see them at all! You need to go from subjective to objective, and putting the book out of your existence for a while will do that. How long? For novels (40k+), at least a month. Two weeks is adequate for novellas, and anywhere from a few days to a week is fine for short stories.

This Distance phase is a great time to have a celebratory night out with your friends to congratulate yourself on your achievement. It really is a great accomplishment. Send us a message if your friends and family do not understand. Post about it in the writing groups you’re a part of. Soak in the success!

This will do so many things for you. You will be surprised at all the mistakes you find when you finally go back to your book. Now, do not be discouraged if you find that a chapter isn’t to your liking anymore. That’s supposed to happen here. Find the elements that work, delete those that don’t, and rewrite it in a way that makes sense.

If you find you are having a hard time editing because you don’t like what you’ve written, don’t trash your book. STOP! Get up, and go outside. Take a walk, look around your neighborhood and think to yourself what you see. Literally. Get your mind off of your book. Go eat if you haven’t in a while. If you’re tired, go take a nap. If you keep going on your book in your frustration, you might end up trashing a gem simply because you’re frustrated. You are NOT a horrible writer. Just get away for a while and come back, refreshed.

So that’s step one: DISTANCE. Get away from your book!

Hopefully this helps you with creating your stories! Come back tomorrow for more tools to help you improve your writing!

 

What You Will Learn This Week:

Day 2 - How To Create A Page-Turner Your Readers Will Love!


Day 3 - The Most Important Thing You Need To Understand About Your Book!


Day 4 - How To Launch Your Book, Boost Your Sales &
Hit The Bestsellers Lists

 

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