Stuck on a SHORT Story?
Stuck on what to put in your story?
-- This is the list of things I check off when I create a story:
Do you have a Setting in mind?
- Modern day
Do you have ONE big main event for the story to focus on?
- A battle
- An escape
- A love scene
- An act of revenge
- A sacrifice
- A treasure to claim
- A magic spell
- A transformation
Do you know what you want to SAY with your story?
- Love sucks.
- Friendship is forever.
- No good deed goes unpunished.
- A snake can only ever be a snake.
- Sometimes you have to take chances.
- Magic makes things worse, not better.
Do you know where you want to END your story?
- A wedding?
- A funeral?
- A bloody battlefield?
- An empty street?
- The bottom of an ocean?
Do you have your three central characters ready?
-- Just to make things interesting, any one of these three could be the Hero, the Villain, or the Ally.
- A main character that personifies what your story is trying to say?
- A main character that personifies an opposing opinion of the same topic?
- A buddy / friend/ love interest of one or both to personify Joe Normal stuck in the Middle?
Why did I mention Characters last?
-- Instead of making a story for my characters, I do the opposite. I make characters for my story.
Some people can come up with a cool character and then build a story around them. Sadly, I am not one of those. I can build a back-story just fine, but my back-stories are never good enough to be the Main Story. A back-story is how a character GOT his Issues. The main story is how they FIXED those Issues. See the difference?
-- When I'm stuck on a story, I try thinking on these questions and often, they'll jog something loose.
-- This is the list of things I check off when I create a story.
Posted as a submission by popular request! (All two of you.)
DISCLAIMER: As with all advice, take what you can use and throw out the rest. As a multi-published author, I have been taught some fairly rigid rules on what is publishable and what is not. If my rather straight-laced (and occasionally snotty,) advice does not suit your creative style, by all means, IGNORE IT.
Looking for more Writing Tips & Tricks ?
I'm starting to think maybe I should have posted this comment on the gallery folder instead.
-- Have you looked at this one?
From Idea to STORY
----- Original Message -----
How do you develop an idea? How do you come up with the details behind stories? Do you get them from reading books? Do you get them from modern concepts? Or do they just come to you (if so, lucky you XD)? How do you develop the world in which it takes place? People or settings first? Do you include cults/religions/mass groups? How do you come up with these groups?
-- Thoughtful Writer
In other words, what you want to know is:
How do you build a Story from an Idea?
Let's begin by breaking this huge pile of questions down to smaller, bite-sized pieces...
How do you develop an idea?
I start with a Climactic Event.
-- My ideas may originate from anything at all; from a piece of music to a picture I saw on the 'net, but to make a Story from those ideas I start with What I Want to Happen at the very heart of my story -- a central Climactic/Crisis Event. I then create a Plot Concept
It's actually kind of funny because I also create the story before the characters, but I only just realized it
Sometimes I create a story around a pre-made character, but it is SO much easier to do it the other way
This will help if I ever get stuck on a short story.
There are several interesting events in the Naruto series that are told but not shown. So I thought of making short stories for those events to show what might have happened. And also there are several minor characters, some only given names in the databooks, which would make for an interesting main character to do some stories about.
-- This means that given enough time, you Would have figured them out yourself.
Especially the part about making a character to fit your story instead of making a story to fit the character.
That was the problem I was having.
Thanks for the help!
-- Making characters to fit your story fixes a Lot of problems before they even come up, such as How you're going to end the story.
-- The event that forced the character into adventure.
-- The event where they make their biggest mistake.
-- The event where they face the results of their mistake. Often where Hero confronts Villain AKA: who they Could have been if they hadn't fixed their mistake. This event is normally considered the story's climax.
In Beauty & the Beast:
- Event 1 is where Beauty's father plucks the rose then AGREES to trade his daughter for his own life.
-- Event 2 is where Beauty begs to Go Home.
-- Event 3 is where Beauty faces the results of leaving: a dying Beast.
Checklists are just plain easier to use.
-- I try to keep the BS to a minimum, but sometimes my personal frustrations do leak in.
Oh Hell, Yes it is!
-- As for remembering stuff, check out my journal on how to teach yourself to have a photographic memory specifically for story-telling.
Oh my! This is reaaaally useful! Thank you! Thank you!
That's...genius. It doesn't sound easy but I tried it out on a chapter and It makes the story go along so much easier. I love it!