Knowing where to start is half the battle
Rebecca Mikkelson, Editor-in-Chief Authors 4 Authors Publishing
Welcome to our series for new authors!
In the new year, we want to try to help writers who are just getting started on their journey to becoming authors. Sometimes it’s hard to know what you should start with or what might be missing from your work, so we’re going to cover the seven most important things when it comes to your story. Each subsequent blog post in this series is going to cover one of the following topics, but in this post, we want to give a brief overview of what’s to come so you can pick and choose which posts you’d like to read (though, hopefully, you’ll read all of them). This blog will be updated as posts go out so you can easily find them.
One of the most important things in your work is going to be the plot. In this post, I’m going to be talking about where your story is going—before starting to write, you should already have an idea in mind of where you want the story to end. In that vein, I’ll also talk about what plotters and panters are, and how to structure your plot.
Characters (A Character in Your Own Story)
Creating characters can be an interesting experience, especially when the characters start to get out of hand and do whatever they want. Before you get started, you’ll need to know the role you want your characters to play within the story, what their motivations are, a general idea of what they look like, their personalities, likes and dislikes, etc. to create a rich and vivid person your readers can relate to.
Dialogue (Who Are You Talking To?)
Writing dialogue is hard—one of the hardest things, actually. You’re putting words into someone else’s mouth, with someone else’s personality, and selling it to readers as something a real person would say. And readers, my friend, are hard to please. In this post, I want to talk about what makes your dialogue believable, how your characters talk, and what your characters do while they’re talking (because that adds to the believability of their conviction or lack thereof).
Setting (Setting the Stage)
You might think this is the same thing as world building, and it sort of it, but the setting is more of the minute details within a story. I want to talk about the little things that writers often forget within their story because they’re writing the story as writers rather than readers. I’ll be talking about where your character is, keeping track of time, and how they interact with their environment.
World Building (The World Revolves Around You)
You might have seen our eighteen-week series on world building last year, but in case you haven’t, you can find all of the posts here in our introductory post. For this post, however, I’m only going to be covering the top five things I think you need when just starting out on your world building journey. This post will cover what your world is, its customs, government, religion, and whether or not it has magic.
Themes (Theme it to me, Baby)
But my story doesn’t need a theme! I don’t want to teach people a lesson; I just want to tell a good story! People often mistake themes with morals when it comes to writing; while they do overlap, they are different things. In this post, I’ll talk about what themes are and how to enrich your story in subtle ways for your reader.
Conflict (I’m Feeling Conflicted)
Your conflict is what makes your story your story. Without it, the novel will be bland and lacking depth. Harsh to say it that way, perhaps, but true. In this blog post, I’ll talk about when your conflict should be introduced, how to make your conflict more believable, and how your conflict changes the life of your characters and story.
Join me next week when I talk about plot.
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