Some people seem to think that to tell a story, you just start talking and to write a story, you just start writing. Simply string two or more words together to make a sentence and repeat until you have a book, right? If you’ve tried your hand at writing, you know it’s not that simple.
A good story takes a bit of planning.
The first sentence ought to have something to do with the second one, don’t you think? The paragraph you’re reading now should tell you a bit more about the paragraph you just read. When you reflect on a book, you can see how each chapter—each scene—stepped toward the climactic ending like footprints leading to an ocean of discovery. The conclusion lingers in the sand of your mind because the author helped you discover the ending for yourself.
When you set out to write a story, begin with the end in mind.
Knowing where you want to go can help you figure out how to get there. When you begin your story, it helps to know what you’re trying to say. Take time in the beginning to figure out your story’s destination. What do you want readers to remember about your book? Is there a message? A moral?
- Think about the story you are writing or planning now. Does it have a clear destination?
- What do the characters learn from what happens to them?
- Express the main point of your story in a sentence of 25 words or less.
- Write down the main point and post it where you can see it while you write to keep your focus sharp!