Now, I could simply say, writing a good story is easy, and that it only takes a good idea. But that would be utterly, and completely wrong. Now, not everything that works for one writer, works for the other, it’s just a fact. Though there are some common tricks among writers that tend to help make the process go smoother as well as boost the quality of the work. These few tips that I will give you are the things that I do personally to help with my compositions.
1. Think – Jot down a few ideas, come up with some characters, think of the relationships between the characters as well as where you want your story to take place. Think about the type of story that you want to write, and the feelings that you want your readers to get. it’s best to do this part of the process in a comfortable area, or a least somewhere that you can easily gather your thoughts together.
2. Imagine – See the sights, hears the sounds, and smells the scents of the environment you’re creating. You want your literary works to draw your readers in, so, do what you can to get their attention on the scenery and characters. Create imagery that will place people in the story, and allow them to envision your words as they happen. Don’t hold back on your imaginative thoughts, you can always changes things later, before you finish the final product.
3. Plan – Now, for this, I suggest laying out your scenes, whether it be a story board, a list of chapters, a list of scenes, or even just just the order characters are introduced, get these ideas down. Put it somewhere you know that you won’t lose it. For me, most of my stories plots stay in my head, usually because it’s just easier for me to not have to physically go back and change something if I don’t like it later on, unless it’s already been drafted. This also gives me the freedom to create scenes whenever I feel like it, and change them however I feel. Though this isn’t something that I suggest for most people, as we tend to forget things easily when we’re caught up in other matters. So I’d say keep pen and paper handy, just to quickly put the ideas down so you can review them later.
4. Draft – This is where you really have to start getting into it, your beginning stages are over, and you’re moving into writing. Don’t focus so much on spelling as you can always proofread and edit later, just get your story together and developed. That’s what drafting is for, so don’t waste time making sure your draft is perfect, even final products sometimes don’t come out perfect. just get your main points down, and the basic details that support your story. It’s good to have a person or group of people ready who can give you feedback after you complete drafted chapters. This will help with improving the final product a great deal. There are tons of communities online that love to help people with writing their stories.
5. Read – Go back and read your story, the whole story. You may catch your mistakes, or find places where you want to add a few details. Mark those places as you read, just don’t stop to do them for now. This helps you to see how it will read to another person, even after having feedback, this is a great way to connect with the story. If you enjoy reading your story, most likely, others will too.
6. Edit – Now that you’ve read your story and have found what you feel are problem areas, plus read the feedback (if you have any), it’s time to make the necessary changes that will complete your story. Go to your marked sections and fix, add, or take away what you need. Make sure you descriptions are proper, as well as easy to understand. Not very many people are going to enjoy having to get a Dictionary to read your story. Though you also don’t want to stick with using the same one word too heavily. Try using similar words that convey what you want to be said without sounding stale and static. If you can’t think of any words, a Thesaurus is a good place to start your search.
7. Complete – Ending a story can be difficult, depending on if you want to make a series and continue on with another installment, or if you want it to be a standalone story with no prequels or sequels. This step actually falls in line with Step 6. think about if all of the points you wanted covered have been, and what you wish to remain to have left open. Once you have taken care of this step, you are ready for the next.
8. Publish – Publishing is simply finding a place that you want your work presented, or actually having a company publish it for you. There are plenty of websites where you can post or publish stories to. My personal favorites are:
http://fictionpress.com – This site is only for original stories.
http://fanfiction.net – This site is only for fiction stories based on more famous material.
http://freestoriescenter.com – This site is generally great for any writer, and will take pretty much any story.
So there you have it, those are my personal tips to any other writer out there, novice or veteran, we all can use a little help every now and again. When I write my stories however, I usually have some sort of music playing, depending in the moment within the story, or the type of story that I am writing. Anyway, I hope that this helps you with improving your writing, or even just getting started, have a great time putting together your stories.