You know that feeling when you’re reading a good story and maybe wish it had a different ending? Or have you ever made up a superhero or character and wished they were real? What if I told you, you could write your own story? Just follow these five steps!
Everything starts with an idea. What story do you want to tell?
For example, I always wanted to read a story about a vampire queen that lives in a land of candy. My idea, then, would be just this: a vampire queen.
Who is the story about? Who is the main character and who else is there?
Going back to the previous idea. If I were writing this story, my characters would be the Vampire Queen and her court (her court would include her friends, family, neighbors etc.…)
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This step is very fun. Here you choose the setting of the story, here you are world building. Where will it take place? In a different town? On a planet? In a different universe? If you want your characters to live in space, what are some of the space rules you have? They can be completely made up; this is your story. What if they lived in a world completely made of candy? What type of candy would cars be? The Vampire Queen lives in Candyland, a world where EVERYTHING is candy (even the Queen!)
4. Story arc
You draw an arc with three little ticks. The ticks are the beginning, the middle and the end. Choose what you want the beginning to be, is it when your character wakes up or is it right before the thing (the thing is the big event or conflict you want in your story) happens? The middle is all about the thing. How do you want your story to end?
BEGINNING: One of the neighbours noticed that his house is slowly transforming from candy to a real house.
MIDDLE: The Queen is investigating but is struggling to figure it out. The more she searches for an answer, the more candy houses are turning into real house.
The middle usually includes some sort of conflict (a problem that you want to solve)
END: Everybody lives happily ever after. Or do they?
5. FILL IN THE GAPS
We have a beginning, middle and end, that is great, but we need more. Something between the middle and the end, and something between the beginning and the middle. A story is made up of ideas and things that build up to events, events that raise the stakes. What do I mean? Here, let me show you.
INSERT- The Queen decides to secretly investigate. (putting this between the beginning and the middle connects the two parts).
Now from the middle to the end, we need some sort of resolution, something that explains how The Queen can go from investigating to solving the mystery.
INSERT: The Queen realizes that the mystery of the candy houses changing into real houses is connected to her mood.
This means that to have a happily ever after in my story, the Queen and court need to communicate better, and the Queen needs days off. What does your story need to feel “whole”?
Use these five steps to come up with a story. Go on, we are listening.