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How to write good stories tips (Novel, Wattpad, Episode App)

Updated: Aug 17, 2017




There is nothing more satisfying than creating a good story to be proud of.

Still struggling to find the right way to tell your amazing story?

Just follow these steps:


Choose a good topic

Some people are always so inspired that they don't have time to write about all their ideas while others can sometimes have difficulties to find a good topic. If you are a part of the last group, you can find here some ways to get inspired:


  • Things you know

Lots of people will tell you to reads books, watch movies etc. while I don't agree with this method since you'd probably either copy the majority of the plot or start talking about exciting things that aren't yours. In this way you will probably get lot of 'I see The Vampire Diaries relationship energy' or 'This reminds me of Harry potter' and you want to avoid these comments as you would do with the plague.

Take a moment to see the world around you.


Your classmate's dad died from cancer.

Your best friend loves video games.


As long as a topic can make you feel something, write about it.

Let's take the first examples;


You were very touched by the story of your friend's dad who died from cancer that you now plan on writing about a thriller story where the protagonist even though he has only three months left of life and will do anything to find his kidnapped daughter.


You love seeing how your best friend lives outside the world while playing. This inspires you to write about a girl that once a day plays a game that will become reality. Now she has to survive in the game if she doesn't want to die.


You can also base your story on your personal experiences but you don't want to write an autobiography. Take the emotions, the complication and adjust them to fit the rules of plotting and writing.


  • What if

My personal favorite way to get inspired is the 'what if' method.

During your day, without forcing it, try to ask yourself 'what if?'.

Example:

You are alone at home at you lay your eyes on your aquarium and think 'What if my fish was actually an alien?'. I know it might sound crazy but every idea can be a good book if developed by a good writer.

Let's try again;

You are watching at an empty bottle and you ask yourself 'what if there were no more water in our world?'. From this question so many hypotheses can be found: political reason? Magic? Or maybe your fish that is actually an alien drank it while you weren't at home?


Let your imagination flow. A writer cannot run out of creativity.


Build your characters

Building characters means that you have to create them as if they were real people.

Start with their names. Then, continue with their physical features.

Write down a chart for each of them by creating an entire profile in your notebook.

Once the outside is done, you need to focus on the inside.

You need to know the most important event of their life.

What is their happiest memory? And their worst? What made them as they are today?

Remember that, just like real people, they have good qualities and bad ones either they are good characters or villains.

Create a compelling problem

Your character needs to have a conflict, internal or external, that is so big/important/challenging/troubling that it will be the nucleus of the entire plot of your story.

By overcoming (or not) this problem, your character will end being a new person so choose a good conflict that keep things in tension.


Choose the right setting

What is a setting?

It's the location where the story takes place and it helps to set the mood of it.

Settings can also help to provide information about the background story of the characters and build tension.


The setting has to be known as if it was your home town either if it's crucial to the story or not.

If you are writing an historical novel no need to tell you how important is to do your research.

If you are writing a fantasy story it's fundamental that you spend time creating a good setting where everything is coherent.



Choose a point-of-view

  • The first person. The story is told by the 'I' person that tells the story through his or her eyes by observing and discovering. All what we experience in the story comes from the protagonist sight and perception. This creates intimacy with the narrator. The character is talking to us, telling their story. The story isn't told in a objective way because we know what the character told us and how they wanted to. This is why it's very good for a romance story. Also perfect for mystery, action, thriller stories.


  • The second person. With this narration, the story is told with “you,” and you are in the action of it. You are directly connected to the story and feel part of it.


  • The third person. The story is told by the 'he', 'she', 'they' POV. Third person gives you distance from your character. You can see the story from a little distance. If the third person is limited: you can only know what is inside one (or more) characters mind. Ideal if you want a low identification between reader and character and to tell your character's story from the outside. If it's omniscient: the narrator knows everything that is in the mind of all the characters.


Outline your story

Some writers will tell you that outlining is not needed while experience has taught me that if a story is well outlined it becomes easier do all the next parts.


Start by writing the inciting incident that tells something about your character, the compelling problem and the setting.

Then think about how the event that will change your character's life will affect the protagonist: how finding out that the main character is the new heiress of the throne will change her life?

From this, start to write about the rising action; the protagonist will start to understand how to react to the compelling problems, make friend and enemies, and get closer to the climax.

Then write a few lines about the climax which the most important moment: when the hero faces the antagonist, deal with his bigger problem or take a big decision.

Right after is the part of the falling action: is how the protagonist deals with what happened in the climax.

The end, write the resolution or conclusion that shows how the protagonist has changed through the story and reveals if the hero succeeded in his quest or not.


Write good dialogues

First and maybe only essential rules to write good dialogues is knowing your characters.

Before writing any of my stories, I like to spend some time with them. Imagine them talking to each other's and act in different situations.


The best way to know if you nailed your dialogues is to read them without knowing you said the lines.

Each line should instantly tell who said it because of the style, word used, tone and personality unique to each character.


Once you know your characters and know exactly how they talk, it's time to write the actual dialogues.


Dialogues are not: a way to fill the blank pages


Dialogues are: a way to moving the plot forward. If your dialogues don't reveal something new about the plot or about the characters they have to be cut off.


Show don't tell

Show, don't tell is a technique that lets the readers live the story through words, senses, and feelings rather than a direct author description.

In order to do it you don't have to tell people how to feel or how characters feel; use specific verbs and use details.

Instead of saying: 'Sarah was sad' write something like: 'Sarah didn't talk that much that afternoon. Her eyes were red and puffy while her eyes kept avoiding mine '


Edit

The editing part is as important as the actual writing.

After at least five rounds of self-made editing on your story, here is what you can do.

  • If your writing a book: I strongly recommend you contact an agency to proofread your book. No matter how high your school grades were in English, your book needs to be proofread.

  • · If you are writing a Wattpad story or an Episode Interactive story: send your script to your best friends or make your family read it. If you don't know anyone try to reach out to authors on social media and forums. Be aware to never send the entire script to someone you don't know well; they could steal your work.

Notice that after a good editing you should have cut off from 20% to 50% of useless words you used to write your book.

Yes. People tend to write too much.


Practice

Practice is the key to everything.

Keep reading too since it will help you learn from other writers.

Write every day, even though you are tired or you don't feel inspired.

The human mind will follow habits and once they are installed you will be more efficient.


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