How to Start Writing a Story/Book

Getting Started

Hello, fellow wordsmiths! Did you realize that there is a story needed to be told? Have you decided that you are ready to write your own story/book? Are you stuck on what steps to take? No need to worry. After reading this article, you will understand the important steps in creating your own story.

Start off with a graphic organizer.

First thing's first, make a graphic organizer. Even if you have a feeling you already know what you want to write about, still make one. Graphic organizers can help you figure out what you want to write and how you want your ideas to flow. It can possibly be a reminder of what needs to happen and to keep you from going off topic. 

What needs to be in the graphic organizer:

  • Title- Make it catchy and relevant to the story. Note: Coming up with a good title can be tricky and really hard so I advise you to wait when you are finally done with your masterpiece to make one. 
  • Main Character- Who is the story about? What are the characters' names? What makes them so relevant to the story?
  • Setting- When and where does the story take place? 
  • Conflict- This is basically the problem of the story. This is really going to make your story interesting, whether it be internal or external conflict. What obstacle(s) does the main character have to concur? 
  • Resolution- How is the conflict resolved? What important message has the main character learned? Is there even a resolution?

Make an outline of what your characters are like.

This goes hand-in-hand with the graphic organizer. The characters that take place in your story play a huge part in what’s going on, so treat them like such. 

Character outline must include: 

  • Name- If the name has a special meaning to it, include that in the outline as well. 
  • Age- Keeping in mind their age might help you remember what is typical behavior for people in different age groups. 
  • Physical traits- Are they short, medium height, or tall? Do they have brown or blue eyes? Do they have a weird scar across their face? 
  • Character traits- Are they shy? Are they friendly? Are they bossy? 
  • Backstory- What is the story behind the character? What took place in their upbringing that made them the way they are now?
  • Goals- What drives or motivates the character the most? (This part is completely optional.)
  • •The role they play in the story- This is super important. The audience and yourself need to know the importance the character plays in the storyline. What does this character that contribute to the story?

This will help you not only by creating the character, but seeing them in a realistic manner.

Write

Now that you’ve decided what needs to take place and the people involved in the storyline, you can finally write it all down.

Don’t forget the juicy details!

Be descriptive. Don’t just tell it, show it! For example, if you wanted to say that they were nervous, don’t just say they were nervous, describe it. “She tapped her foot with haste as sweat ran down her forehead. She felt her heart racing with anticipation.”

Remember, the readers don't have everything pictured out in their head like you do, so you, as the writer, need to use your word to paint the image for them. When you be descriptive, you make the readers feel like they're part of the story.

Take a break.

Now that you finally finished writing everything, step away from your work. Obsessing over your story is not healthy. It'll only stress you out more than you need to. Take this time to invest in something else. Go for a walk, spend time with friends and family, discover other hobbies, etc.

Read it all.

If you’ve taken some time away from your work as stated before, you now you have a fresh pair of eyes and can view it as a reader. This will help you catch grammar errors and think of better ways to get your point across. Read everything aloud and listen to see if the sentences make sense. Our brain has a way of glossing over grammar errors without meaning to, so pay attention when reading. Make little notes and suggestions for yourself while reading so you can make corrections when it’s time to edit.

Edit.

Now it's time for editing. Scratch out run-on sentences. Insert commas where they are needed. Correct spelling errors. Go crazy!

Write even more if necessary.

At this point, you realize what you need to do to improve your work, so do it. Replace the parts that you cut out during editing. Correct the spelling and grammar errors.

Seek criticism.

Ask a trusted friend or a trusted professional to look over yours to give you some suggestions. Having someone other than yourself look can help see the story from the reader's perspective, you see which part is confusing to understand or writing error that you didn't see when you were editing. But be careful when having some else take  look at your work. There are people that will steal your work. Highly suggest copyright.

Repeat the same editing process as before.

Don’t be afraid to make some changes.

You don’t like the way the story is going? Or do you think that it’s missing a few things? That’s fine. Change it. Remember, it’s your story.

Be patient.

The process of creating your book might take some months, even years. Take your time. You regret not taking your time—especially when you realize that there was so much more that could've been done to make the story even better, or you forgot to add important details. Masterpieces don’t happen overnight. 

Keep writing.

Even after multiple times of editing, your book still has plenty of room for improvement.

BONUS TIPS!

  • Have writer’s block? Search up writing prompts.
  • If you are looking to publish your book, be open minded to the thought that you might get rejected, and be careful who you trust to publish your work.
  • Read other books to expand your vocabulary and give you some ideas. 
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