There’s something special about a good story. It can take you on an adventure, make you laugh, or even make you cry. Do you have a story to tell? Whether it’s a personal anecdote or the tale of your latest business venture, storytelling is a powerful way to engage and connect with your audience.
In this blog post, we’ll share some essential story writing tips for beginners – from finding your story to bringing it to life on the page. So, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been telling compelling stories for years, read on for some helpful advice!
What Makes a Good Story Great?
There’s no one answer to the question of what makes a piece of writing great. However, there are certain elements that can contribute to a story’s greatness:
- One ingredient that can take a story from good to great is drama. Drama can come in the form of conflict between characters, a suspenseful plot, or even heartbreaking moments. Without drama, a story can feel flat and uninteresting.
- The characters should be interesting and complex, and their motivations should be clear. Good dialogue is also key, as it helps to bring the characters to life and gives the reader a sense of their personalities.
- An immersive setting is also important, as it helps to create a sense of place and allows the reader to visualize the world of the story.
- Another essential element of a great story is that each part must effectively move the plot forward. In other words, there should be no filler material or scenes that could be cut without impacting the overall story.
- A deep and well-developed plot is essential, but it can be further enhanced with subplots that provide additional depth and intrigue.
When all of these elements come together, it creates a story that is hard to put down.
Story Writing Tips for Beginners: 8 Secrets You Should Know
As a beginner story writer, it can be challenging to know where to start. There are so many elements to consider when crafting a story, from setting and characters to plot and structure. However, with these eight essential tips, you’ll be on your way to writing your very own masterpiece.
1. Create a Story Outline
Any story worth reading or writing starts with a great idea. But where do you get story ideas from? One way to generate them is to think about your own life experiences.
What are some of the most memorable moments from your childhood? What about your teenage years? What are some of the things you wish you could forget? These are all great sources for story ideas.
Once you have a few story ideas, the next step is to create a story outline. This will help you organize your thoughts and figure out how you want your story to unfold.
Start by brainstorming a list of scenes or events that you want to include in your story. Then, try to put them in order. You don’t have to worry about getting everything perfect at this stage. Just focus on getting all of your ideas down on paper (or in a computer file).
2. Explore Your Ideas
Jotting down half-formed thoughts and ideas is crucial to creating great stories. These allow you to explore different scenarios and see where each one of them takes you.
Whether it is a subject, a setting, or even a character, compiling notes about them is the best way forward. Over time, you’ll realize that these meandering ideas shape your story. There’s no such thing as time wasted.
3. Structuring a Story
Once you have a basic story outline, you can start thinking about how to flesh it out and make it even more enjoyable. A good story is like a journey – it should take the reader on a ride, from the first sentence to the last. But in order to do that, the story must be well-structured.
This means creating a clear beginning, middle, and end. The beginning should introduce the characters and setting, while the middle should include the conflict and rising action. The end should provide resolution and closure.
Following this basic structure ensures that your story is easy to follow and engaging for the reader.
4. Create Compelling Characters
Creating compelling characters is one of the most essential elements of writing a great story. Your readers need to be invested in your characters in order to care about what happens to them. One way to make sure your characters are compelling is to give them a character arc.
In other words, they should grow and change throughout the story. This could mean they start as someone who is unhappy with their life, and then through a series of events, they learn to be content and appreciate what they have.
Or, perhaps your character starts as a selfish person, and they learn to be more selfless and think about others through their journey.
Whatever character arc you choose, make sure it is believable and relatable. If your readers can’t see themselves in your character, they won’t be able to connect with them. And if they can’t connect with them, they won’t care about their journey.
5. Set Up a Strong Conflict
Every story needs conflict. Without it, there is no story. By definition, conflict is the struggle between two opposing forces. This can be two characters, or it can be a single character and an external force.
In either case, the conflict creates tension and drives the story forward. Without conflict, there is no tension; without tension, there is no story.
So if you’re just starting writing, one of the essential writing skills you need to learn is how to create intense conflicts. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- First, identify the different types of conflict that can occur in a story: character vs. character, character vs. nature, character vs. society, etc. Then, decide which type of conflict will be most interesting for your story.
- Make the conflict relatable to the reader by writing about something that everyone can understand, such as love, loss, or betrayal. The protagonist should have something at stake, something they care deeply about.
- Once you’ve decided on the type of conflict, start brainstorming ideas for how to create it. Remember that the conflict should be central to the story; it should drive the plot forward and create tension between the characters.
- And finally, don’t be afraid to experiment; actual writing is all about trying new things and seeing what works best for you and your story.
6. Find Your Voice
Everyone has a unique writing style that is all their own. However, many novice writers make the mistake of trying to imitate the writing style of their favorite bestselling authors, such as Stephen King, Kurt Vonnegut, or Ernest Hemingway.
While it is certainly helpful to read widely and learn from the masters, it is even more important to find your own voice. After all, no one can write exactly as you can.
So instead of worrying about writing like someone else, focus on writing in a way that feels natural to you. Chances are, your readers will appreciate your authentic voice much more than anything else.
7. Appeal to the Five Senses
When it comes to creative writing, one of the best pieces of advice is to appeal to the five senses. Sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch are all important elements in setting the scene and immersing the reader in your story.
For example, if you’re describing a character’s home, you might include details about the furniture and decorations that are visible.
You could also describe the sounds that can be heard, such as music playing or the sound of footsteps on creaky floorboards. The smells in the room might be pleasant or unpleasant, and the taste of the food that is served can also be significant.
By including sensory details in your writing, you can give readers a more complete picture of the world you’ve created.
8. Edit Your Story Often
As any seasoned writer will tell you, editing is a crucial part of the writing process. Not only does it help to improve the quality of your work, but it also allows you to fine-tune your story and ensure that it conveys the message you want it to.
Of course, editing can be a time-consuming and daunting task, particularly if you are new to the world of writing. However, a few online tools can help make the writing process a little easier.
Of course, having someone else read your story and offer feedback is also important. A fresh pair of eyes can often spot things you missed, and another person’s input can be invaluable in editing.
What to Do After You Finish Your Story
Publishing a book is a huge accomplishment that takes blood, sweat, and tears (and sometimes all three at the same time). But just because the writing process is finished doesn’t mean your work is done.
It’s time for final editing. This is when you go through the entire story and ensure everything is perfect. You fix typos, clarify confusing passages, and ensure the story flows smoothly from beginning to end. This time-consuming process can be made easier with online tools, and having a polished final product is worth it.
Once your story is complete, it’s time to start thinking about potential readers. Who do you want to read your book? What kind of reader are you looking for? These are essential questions to consider when making decisions about how to market your book.
For example, if you’re hoping to appeal to a broad audience, you’ll need to ensure your book is available in various formats. Similarly, if you’re targeting a specific niche market, you’ll need to make sure your book can be easily found by potential book readers who are interested in that particular topic.
Ultimately, the best way to engage potential readers is to write a compelling story that they won’t be able to put down. If you can hook them from the first paragraph, they’ll be eager to see what happens next. So take your time and craft a story that you’re proud of – one that potential readers will love.
Every writer has their own writing journey. For some, it starts with writing fan fiction and never looking back. For others, it’s picking up a pen for the first time in years and writing a story that’s been fermenting in their mind for months, if not years.
So, these are our top story writing tips for beginners. Now it’s time to put your skills into practice. Remember, a good story is entertaining; a great story is unforgettable. It’s the kind of tale that you can’t help but recommend to your friends.
Whether it’s a heart-wrenching drama or a light-hearted rom-com, a great story will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I write more believable characters?
One of the most critical elements of writing believable characters is ensuring they are well-rounded. In other words, your characters should have both positive and negative qualities. They should also be capable of growth and change. Book readers need to see that your characters can evolve over time.
Where to find character inspiration?
The best way to find inspiration for characters is to look at the people in your own life. Friends, family members, and even strangers can all be excellent sources of inspiration. Pay attention to the way people speak, dress, and interact with others, and you may find yourself with a wealth of material to work with.
How to come up with character names?
Choose character names that reflect the personality or appearance of the character. For example, a character with a fiery personality might be named after a fire-related element, like Ember or Blaze (or you could choose something more subtle).
By choosing names that reflect the character’s qualities, writers can help to establish a character’s identity for readers immediately.
What are the signs of a bad writer?
In general, bad writing is any writing that is unclear, confusing, or dull. However, there are some more specific signs that can indicate bad writing. For example, bad writers often rely heavily on cliches and jargon. They also tend to use long, convoluted sentences loaded with unnecessary words.
In addition, bad writing tends to be repetitive, often repeating the same ideas or information multiple times. Finally, bad writers often lack a clear sense of purpose or direction, meandering from one topic to the next without making a clear point.