What’s the Story?


Okay, so you have an idea for a brilliant story.  You are all rearing to go, fingers twitching over the keyboards and hey presto, you have completed let’s just say, a first draft.  In your mind it cannot be that difficult, loads of writers do it and some even make a respectable living from it!

However, before you write the first sentence stop for a while and ask yourself, what is your story going to be about?  What are you trying to say? What do you want your readers to learn?

Genre in Fiction

In fiction writing fortunately the scope is very wide. If you are an avid reader you will know that creative writing genres can range from; romance, crime, supernatural, thrillers, mysteries, horror, gothic, humour, general fiction, westerns, historical fiction.  I am sure there are more.  So before you start writing it might be an idea to work out, what genre your writing will fit into.  It will also be useful for marketing purposes later (when you get that book deal or self publish)!

So let’s say you have got an idea for a book about a woman trying to leave an unhappy marriage. All stories comprise of a beginning a middle and an end. Included in this will be your plot and subplots together with the overall theme of the story.

This story like most works of fiction is going to contain lots of conflict.  The conflict is going to come from the husband in this marriage not wanting her to leave and the battles the wife faces trying to achieve this.  There is lots of scope here, but you will probably want her to triumph in the end.

Check out Stephen King’s novel Rose Madder about an abused woman who leaves her husband. A very good read.

Or your idea could be to write a light-hearted humorous story about a  poor family who win the Lotto.  Rather than solving all their problems this family find it has created a whole load of worries!  All of a sudden there is a lot of squabbling, disagreements about how it should be divided etc.

Maybe this sort of story could have a moral in the tale, that being; money is not more important than family.  Perhaps by the end of the story this family realise this. Or maybe they don’t. It is entirely up to you the writer.

However, before you can get to the end of your tale particularly true with longer fiction, you need to plan.  You could try writing an outline for each chapter and working from this. Bear in mind though as your story grows and you get more familiar with your characters you might find your book goes in a completely different direction to the outline.  This is perfectly fine, let your characters lead you!  Sounds funny but it’s true.

Don’t forget your initial efforts are only a first draft.  Bear this in mind.  Never send your manuscript off until you have polished it to your best standard.  If you are feeling particularly rich you could send your draft off to be appraised by a professional appraisal service (but they do charge a lot of money). Or you could join one of the numerous online writing classes or a night class and have it appraised by your class mates.  Either way you will learn and improve from the positive criticism.

Until next time, good luck and happy writing, S

Published by Sharon's Writers Tidbits

Sharon is a writer who lives in north London and has a long-held passion for the art and craft of creative writing. Sharon's main interests are novels, short stories and poetry. She also enjoys writing non-fiction. She is an avid reader and has a threatening TBR pile of books!

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