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Old 01-28-2005, 06:57 PM
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Default Re: Taking Your Writing to the Next Level

Putting the Pieces Together

Now that you’ve decided what perspective you would like to write your story in, I’m going to go over the necessary elements that needed to be decided on before you actually begin writing.

First, before you think of any event or character or setting, choose a time. Will your story be in the everyday world that we know and have grown familiar to, or will your story take place during the high tech future of tomorrow? Or will it all happen before the safeties and security of the modern world even existed? That is up for you to decide. You’re probably asking, why start with the time before all else? The time period that you choose will shape everything in your story. It will shape every aspect of your story from your setting to your characters to your storyline. Certain events and situations may only be possible in a particular time period, so choose carefully.

Second comes your setting, which is also a very difficult part to conjure up. Setting can also change many times during the course of a story. Will your story take place on the familiar world we know as Earth, or will it take place in some other fantastic world, where what wasn’t possible on our planet now becomes an everyday part of life? Will it be a world that involves the computers and machines of today or involve the secret magic of a fantasy setting? Will your story take place around the big cities or in the rural farm towns, or will your characters travel far and wide? Once you thought of some ideas, then, you have to think of the culture. What do the people of this place do as an everyday form of living? How do they live, work and play, and how does it intertwine into a part of their daily lives?

After doing this, you’ll then realize that, yes, you indeed have created your own world, just one of the many advantages that writing a story can have when it comes to displaying your own creativity. Now it’s time to focus on the citizens of your story’s world, and create important characters that will be undertaking the journey you have planned. Of course, the best character to start off with will be your main character.

First, give the main character a name. Then, make that character reflect the kind of society and culture that he or she lives in. What are their interests? What about their history and their personality? And then, what about the main character makes them different from everyone else? The main character is the person or being that must have the most development during the course of the story. You may even have multiple characters with the same role, but there has to be someone who acts as a leader for them, and your main character is perfect for that. This character can have several friends who start off with him or he can start off alone or gain the friendship of others as the story progress. Or you can have a combination of both. That’s up to you.

You’ve created your own world, and you know how it functions and how its citizens live their daily lives, and you have an idea of the person or being that is going to be the main character. Now, to get a nice plot warming up, try to think of something that would be a threat to that society or to that one character. There are so many millions of possible threats, and you don’t have to be limited to just one. The people in the world you have created have to fear something and have some sort of weakness that they can be exposed to.

There are two options. One, you can have a threat that involves many people at once, such as a natural disaster, war, or many other threats on a high scale. Or, you can have a personal threat that would only involve a small number of people. Maybe the main character’s sister is kidnapped, or they are fighting a personal enemy. Either way, you can have an exciting and epic story arise from either situation. And, even better, change the threat or have other threats during the course of the story that can surprise the reader, but don’t make it too obvious and don’t do it too often.

Let’s look at some movies, perhaps ones you have seen or heard of, and you’ll realize what I’m talking about…

High Scale Threats

Lord of the Rings – The Dark Lord Sauron and the One Ring
The Matrix – The war against the machines

Personal Scale Threats

Scarface – Tony’s own struggle to power
The Godfather – Michael trying to gain power in the criminal world

Again, movies and games can be great sources of themes, ideas, and storylines, but you must take care not to exploit that too much. If you like a movie’s storyline or ideas and you wish to use something similar to it, a good approach is to either use a different time period, make the characters significantly different, change the events or resolution of the conflict in several ways, or making the setting different. And even better approach is to use a combination of these or all of them at once, therefore cloaking the fact you got the idea from a movie or game. If you don’t do this and use a very similar setting to that of the movie, your readers have a good chance of picking up on it, and may then conclude that your story isn’t being very original. Intertwining Pokémon into the scene will definitely help, but it’s not going to do everything.

Last edited by Dog of Hellsing; 05-08-2010 at 06:30 PM.