It is no secret that when a person first begins writing a story and sees a clean paper sheet, he or she experiences complete inner chaos. From starting the story to bringing it to a logical end, narrative writing includes answering a number of difficult questions. In the vast majority of cases, a beginner doesn’t know how to create a clear sequence of actions. Knowing this firsthand, I have prepared a small guide for you, my dear novice authors.
I sincerely hope that you approach writing with at least minimal knowledge about the process. To make your first literary experience successful, I have tried to clearly define the sequence of action you should go through.
So, how to write a story? Let’s dig deeper along with Lucy Adams, one of the writers who provide clients with best essays.
The first thing you should know is that any literary work consists of three basic stages: planning, writing, and editing. If you skip one of them, the output won’t be worthwhile, believe me. On the other hand, seeing and performing simple local tasks, you’ll be able to step by step conquer the highest heights. Everything is in your hands.
Before you sit down in front of the monitor, consider the following points:
- What is the purpose of writing – just to entertain the reader or to convey some idea?
- What will the story will be about? What’s the main theme and idea?
- Who will be the protagonist?
Perhaps, you’ll get scared by these questions. But answering them will allow you to proceed further much more easily.
At first, decide on the kind of story you plan to write:
- If the purpose is purely to entertain, put emphasis on the plot; try to saturate it with interesting and unexpected episodes.
- If the purpose is to convey some idea, then you need to find the most efficient and clear way to express that point. Pick a plot that will allow your characters to reveal the idea fully and vividly.
After you have decided on a goal, compare it with the plot you have in mind and decide whether the latter matches the assigned tasks. If it doesn’t, then think of how you can adjust it.
- For example, imagine that you want to convey the idea of universal justice: good always triumphs over evil. But the story you have is more like a fusion thriller with lots of blood and corpses. Obviously, it’s not the best story to illustrate the ideas of justice. Then you need to decide whether to change your story to be purely entertaining or to develop a more suitable plot.
Now is the time to make an outline for the story. How should you do this? Well, it’s pretty simple. First, write down your general idea. Below that briefly describe the sequence of events.
Note that a couple of short paragraphs won’t be enough. Actually, the more, the better. Don’t be afraid to include all your ideas in the plan – later you will leave the most successful ones to be the core of your story.
Well, I should warn you that during the preparatory phase, you’ll face a lot of difficulties. But it’s not that bad: solve them in the drafting stage and save yourself problems in future! The main issues here are the lack of clear transitions between scenes, lack of the names of characters, places, objects, etc. However, the better you work out the problems at this stage, the easier and faster writing the rest of the story will go.
The result of the actions outlined above will be a plan that contains:
- a clear idea of the type of story;
- consistently prescribed events;
- names and descriptions of the characters;
- names of the places mentioned in the narrative.
In comparison to the work to come, that’s not too much. However, this is the minimum that will allow you to comfortably pass to the next stage.
This is the main, but not the defining part. If you have a well thought-out plan, writing becomes a purely technical procedure. However, it is well worth it to adhere to certain recommendations.
- Firstly, don’t procrastinate on the writing process. Of course, it’s almost impossible to complete a full story in one night, but personally, I follow the motto “no day without a ” This means that you need to write every day – and the more, the better. If you take a break for a few days, it will affect the text and, most likely, not for the better. It is in your interest to finish the narrative within a few days as possible.
- Secondly, avoid clichés. In most cases, a simple style looks better than artificial pretentiousness. Aspiring authors love to decorate their texts with various forms of expression, including descriptions full of adjectives and metaphors, poems and epigraphs. Alas, it’s almost always out of place or has been said a million times before. And almost always young authors fall into the cliché trap.
- Thirdly, don’t be afraid to write! Do not try to copy someone’s style. Your story – no matter how pathetic it sounds – is a part of your soul and your personality. That is, I believe, the key moment in shaping the author’s style.
After the story is written, leave it alone for one or two weeks, then go back and re-read it. This will allow you to get a fresh look at it and find more bugs that need worked out.
When editing, carefully and slowly read the text and simultaneously correct the mistakes and roughness that you notice. Don’t be afraid to rewrite or remove sentences and paragraphs if you think it will benefit the piece. Read slowly, checking each phrase for strength; then re-read at a normal pace and pay attention to the places where you lose the rhythm – perhaps, you need to revise and improve them as well. Finally, read the text aloud and make sure that it’s smooth. Repeat these steps at least five times.
After that, print out the text and read it again. I assure you, you will find that it’s not as good as it seemed on the computer screen. Make notes and corrections on the printed copy, and then transfer the corrections to the electronic version. When you have repeated these steps a few times, send the story to someone else who is willing to offer advice. Most likely, he or she will find a few more bugs and rough edges that you can fix.
Of course, it’s impossible to fix all the bugs and make the text absolutely smooth. No amount of editing will work out all the kinks. Something will always stand out to somebody as something that could be improved. Take this for granted. And be prepared for the critics who will point out these moments as flaws. A perfect text does not exist. But this does not negate the fact that you should spend a great deal of time meticulously editing. Only after this, can the narrative be considered fully and completely written.