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How to Write a Story

Nov 07, 2012

November is Novel Writing Month where thousands of people write millions of words. It’s a time when you can put your head down and complete a very large goal: write a whole novel. To help celebrate, this article touches on the basics of story.

There are many different types of writing out there. Some is very descriptive and elaborates on the details. Other writing is very sparse and details are selective. For whatever style of writing you feel most comfortable in here are a few things to keep in mind when writing a story.

  • Characters: Believable, interesting characters can carry a story a very long way. They don’t have to be likeable (in fact unlikable characters sometimes make the best characters) they just have to be relatable and human.
  • Plot: Plot is the action in your story. Though this is an essential component to a story, don’t think that it’s more important than character. It’s the sword fight in the jungle or the plane falling from the sky, but there’s also plenty of plot in a story of a girl doing her laundry, as long as that girl is a good relatable character.
  • Setting: Whether it’s an exact location, like Wall Street in New York City or a general place like a garden, setting can be like a character in a piece. Have a full sense of the setting and it will make your story that much fuller.
  • Dialogue: Not all stories have dialogue, but good dialogue can say so much about character and setting without having to waste a lot of time. The best trick for good dialogue is to listen to how people actually talk. We rarely speak in full sentences and we rarely even listen to each other. Pop some pieces of true dialogue into your story and you’ll be amazed at its effect.
  • Read: In order to get the best sense of what writing there is out there and what stories can achieve, read. Read anything and everything you can. Whatever you like best, read more of that. Try and write like that too. Try a few different styles and your own unique style will come out.
  • Keep writing: Like anything, practice makes perfect. The more you write the better you’ll get. The more defined your style will become and the more perfected your skill.

Get your notebook out and start writing!

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63 Comments

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Poll_writing

What makes you a great writer?

  • Writing believable characters. They can carry a story.
  • Everything you write needs to be made up.
  • Everything you write needs to be true.
  • Practice. You need to keep on writing.

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