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10 Facts You Should Know Before Writing Stories

Before you start writing your story you must know that writing is like exercise. Do a little writing every day. The more you write the more you’ll be in touch with your story and it is more likely that you can concentrate on your storyline and characters. 

Writing stories, be it tiny or short, requires careful thinking of images, scenes, and characters. Although, writers have different approaches towards writing short fiction stories. The basic elements required to clock the bricks together are somewhat similarly.

Constant reading of short story writers like Raymond Carver, J.D. Salinger, and Alice Munro might help one write short stories in compelling manner. Grammar and spelling check is one thing, but understanding of the structure of the whole story is another—and even difficult is trying to compress the story, bringing insightful dialogues between characters, and finally putting fresh thoughts in the play. Writing story might seem easy, but it is just the contrary.

Before you start writing your story you must know that writing is like exercise. Do a little writing every day. The more you write the more you’ll be in touch with your story and it is more likely that you can concentrate on your storyline and characters. A good idea would be to keep a target of certain amount of words, for example - 1000 words, you would write per day. Some days, it will come easily to you and some days it won’t. There is also a chance that these 1000 words are rubbish, but you can take it again on a later date and make them better.

1. Reading Other Books:

First things first, if you want to write well, you must read extensively and widely. Since you’re budding a writer, you probably have a corner filled with novels. So, grab ten of them. Read them repeatedly. This way you will gain knowledge and more importantly, you’ll find inspiration. A well-read writer will have a strong hold over his thought process, language, and crafting of the story. A well-read reader can read with a writer’s eye. Even grammar sinks in when you often read. “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time to write. Simple as that.” — Stephen King.

2. Referring Other Genres:

The logic is to read a lot of stories within your favourite genre right? But at the same time you must experience a wide range of styles of writing and themes too. Make sure that you read a good balance of commercial and literary work. Referring genres outside your chosen area will expand your knowledge and mind-set, and provide you an understanding to different types of scenes in that tone and style.

3. Creating Storyline:

Storyline is the most important element, and first of all the things mentioned here. For most of the writers, things head north from a simple idea or a storyline. Like a story about two rabbits who grew into men after lunch, for example. Storyline is where it all starts from.

4. Focus On Theme:

Themes are like shadows that the story casts upon the minds of the readers. It could be about dowry, poverty, capitalism, feminism, and many more, the good vs the bad, morality, ethics, things like moral of the story comes down from here.

5. Plot Development:

Once you figure out the basic storyline and the theme, it comes time to put together a plot. A plot is what decides the action of the characters and channelling of the story. An interesting plot is difficult to make—especially a unique or a fresh one, because most of the popular stories have good plot. Novels, short fiction, movie scripts—everything requires a compelling plot to keep the reader interested to read some more.

6. Character Development:

Character is the most essential part of the story, although, not a sequential process. Few writers have developed stories around the characters, and have become a major hit. Character is a medium though which action is denoted. It is the characters that leads the story to an end, and developing one requires time and effort.

7. Identifying Your Audience:

If you are writing a story, you must know your target demographic. You must know what kind of story you are putting out on paper, and then the audience that is made for your particular type of stories. Are they kids below 5, or teenagers below 15, or mature college going adults, or mid-aged ones? You must be able to understand their mind set, while still in the process of finishing the tiny story.

8. Be Disciplined:

You would be able to lift even a pen if you wouldn’t discipline yourself and set a particular time for writing your story. Some writers wrote it early in the morning, some preferred noon, and some late night, whatever fits the bill—whatever time is convenient or comfortable for the creative juices to flow out, go for it.

9. Write Without Any Reservation:

Write what comes into your head first, even if you feel that the story is going wrong or inappropriate—let the juices flow out from your system onto the paper—later you would have enough time to correct it and change it. But what comes at the spur of the moment make a whole lot of difference. So, do not overthink and just write till you can…rest will follow.

10. Always Rewrite:

No matter what you write in your first attempt, chances are it can be improved. Can you cut down the unnecessary words? Can you bring more depth to the main character? Can the dialogues be improved? Do several rewrites of your stories. The more you re-write the better you become in writing good tiny stories.

This is a YourStory community post, written by one of our readers.The images and content in this post belong to their respective owners. If you feel that any content posted here is a violation of your copyright, please write to us at mystory@yourstory.com and we will take it down. There has been no commercial exchange by YourStory for the publication of this article.
An Indian novelist and investment banking professional.

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