- Books, Literature, and Writing
Following Through With an Imperfect Story Idea
So you want to write a book? Maybe you've written a few chapters, maybe half the book or just the outline. Now that you are rereading it, it just doesn't sound book-worthy or right. The desire to just rip it all up is there but no need to pour all your hard work down the drain. Let's take a look at what you can do to save your book.
Let's start at the beginning as most things do. Take a look at your outline, and if you haven't made one, this is the time to do so. You need to break down what your idea was in the first place. It's possible you had a good idea but are missing some parts.
Have you established how everything starts? Not the exact words but rather how the core of your story is introduced to the reader. If you haven't done so, you need only to write down a sentence, no need to go writing 3 chapters on me. I'll assume you have this taken care of now.
Have you established how you'll get your story from point A to point B? Maybe you have your beginning and climax, maybe even the end but haven't input how you will get from your introduction to your climax. Not only do you need to decide how to get to your climax, you also need to make sure there is a buildup to it. Take a moment to decide how this will happen in your story. Personally I find it helpful to write a few options just in case the first ends up feeling out of place. Hopefully you've gotten that part settled now.
Who can forget your climax, besides your partner. This is what you've been building up to. This is your cheese in a cheese sandwich, the most important part. This is where your story takes a turning point, where the solution to the problem happens. It doesn't have to be a good solution, it just has to end the story conflict. Chances are this will be the easiest part of your story to figure out. Take your idea and resolve the problem, should be simple enough, hopefully you'll agree. Although slightly more challenging but possibly beneficial is instead of resolving the problem simply let your story take a turn, bring change to your problem and resolve it at the end of your story instead. Let's move on to how you'll get from point B to point C.
How do your characters handle the solution? If the climax is the cause, what is the effect? Think about your characters and who they are, and how they are. How would they react to your climax? This part of the story can be the hardest, you really need to immerse yourself into the minds of your characters, this is where you get to the core of who they are. Take some time establishing your characters before taking on this part of your story. You may also find it easier to write your ending before this.
Lastly your ending, your conclusion, your moral of the story, your happily never after. Decide if you want to end on a cliffhanger, and set your story up to be continued in another book. Some authors decide to both finish the story and tell the readers what happened after the story. Of course if in the end of your book the universe ceases to exist, you may be at a loss here. Also if you decided to not end the conflict during your climax, now is that time.
What part of your story did you find most challenging to write/establish?
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