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 How To Write A Story

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Zedralan
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PostSubject: How To Write A Story   Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:18 am

When I first started writing there was really very little in the ways of tutorials available. I know the reason for this, it's how writing is different for everyone, keep this in mind while reading through this.

Step 1: What the hell are you gonna write about?

Well, you should write about what you know. For instance, if you're a gun nut maybe go for a military story where you can put that to use, or if you have a good imagination go for a fantasy of sci-fi story.

Step 1A: Research your story.

By research I don't mean spend weeks looking up history books. What I really mean is you have to know what you're doing, even if you make stuff up. Get diagrams of guns to know how they work, and diagrams of vehicles so you know how they work. Even if it's a sci-fi story it's good to know how things are supposed to work in the first place. While you are doing research you could look for character ideas. Google images is awesome for this. Have a basic idea of a character? Search it and have a look at the various images, maybe download the image and build your character off of it.

Step 2: Building your characters.

Even the most imaginative writer will hit a brick wall, or contradict earlier information without a character sheet. (I found myself changing some characters height several times through the story, and hair color twice at one point). Write down name, age, height, weapons (if needed), sex, turn ons, turn offs, favorite foods, and a small bio (a story of the character possibly not included in the main story). Add more fields if you want to, but be sure not to make the character unchangeable, they should be versatile.

Step 3: A Starting Point.

It can be either the hardest or easiest part of a story... the start. Before you even put pen to paper of finger to key think what you want to do. Do you want to start the story half way through, in the middle of a huge galactic battle? Do you want to start at the end, and have a character tell the story first person? Do you want to ease into the story a few weeks, even a year before the actual story is based? I myself like a good middle start. The battle has just begun, a huge twist has just happened, the characters are seemingly doomed, and then we say how they got there. REMEMBER when using the ending, or middle ideas that you shouldn't let too much of the story through. If you give out the middle and ending, who will read the start?

Step 3A: So you have a page of blocked up text.

If your work looks like a huge jumble of letters, text, and other junk from across the room... you have just participated in a common mistake. Split your story into chapters (ending at cliffhanger endings, or interesting parts to encourage more reading, never end at a boring place) and split those into paragraphs (Particular parts, a chapter in a chapter. You can leave these at boring parts if needed). You should have something that looks kind of like this tutorial.

Step 4: A title... A title...

A title at step four!? You think I'm crazy or something? Wrong. The title should come to you after you write, a story based on a title is often a problem. Your title should speak the story, but not reveal anything and not be too large. "A Story About People Who Shoot Other People With Guns And Stuff" is too long, and "Story" is too boring. You can use a character's name with another word "Mike's Struggle" or "The Plight Of Dave" are acceptable, but if you do a sci fi, fantasy, or anything else with newly created names be sure they make sense... "Loktagra's Turmoil" sounds cool. You could also have a title based on a major part of your story, a location, a business, a military faction, the name of a made up football team.

Step 5: Keeping it all rolling.

Sure the first few pages are easy, but after that all your brilliant ideas have been used up. If not, you have a cracker imagination and deserve a medal. But for those unfortunate enough not to be able to make a story last... Keep yourself interested. If you read your story and find it boring, throw in a bomb, or a comic relief character. Take breaks. If you force yourself to write you won't enjoy it, and if you don't enjoy it why do it? Try going to bed a half hour early and just sitting there whilst clearly speaking a portion of the story you already wrote, and add more to it when you are done. You could also read it out in your head.

Step 6: Proof reading, and getting it out there.

If all went well you should have a decent story. It should be more than 40 pages long (you can release parts of your story at different times) and entertaining. Have your parents, friends, relatives, or even total strangers read your story and provide insight. Perhaps even claim it's the work of someone else for a better and truer proof read. Parents, friends, relatives, even strangers, they won't look you in your face and tell you it's crap. You could post your story up on these very forums for us to read. I myself love to read stories by aspiring writers.

You're all done.

By now you have all you need. Post a reply with any questions because I want to make this as helpful as possible. Keep these following things in mind:

•Create character sheets before anything. Build off solid characters for a solid story.

•Research is almost mandatory for some story types. Once you find a type you like, you won't have to research as much because you already have.

•Format properly. Don't block your story up, as it makes it difficult to read.

•Title comes last. It should be clever, say what your story is, and what genre.

•Get proof read. Don't claim it's done until you do. Parents, friends, relatives, and the fine members of this forum are all good ideas.

-Zedralan - V1.0 -
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Valentine Chaos
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PostSubject: Re: How To Write A Story   Sat Aug 14, 2010 8:40 am

Really good, and complete too! I might start writing... +rep!
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PostSubject: Re: How To Write A Story   Sat Aug 14, 2010 11:06 am

lol my mums writing storys on some internet page thing shes really good :p
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