Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Guide to Writing: Chapter 1: The Idea

Edited: as they will be until perfect.

Here begins a series of articles for me, just to keep the writing process in my head. Feel free to follow along and join in.

The most important thing to do when writing is to have an idea. Any idea will do, but one must have an idea to begin the process correctly. Or else all you are doing is msking random words jumble together in no real order. Instead, you need a basic idea, a premise for your story. This is literally one line about the basic idea behind your story, One could be "Man comes to grips with the death of his mother." Now, this could describe any type of story. But it gives you the basic starting point for entering your story. This is the idea that the rest of the story will be built around. The premise can be like throwing darts at a wall, anything you want it to be. But the simpler it is, the easier it will be to construct a story.

Now, don't think you have to explain the actual story. It's merely an idea that runs the course of the story. The premise of Die Hard is "A man tries to make up with his wife". It is not about the terrorists, they are just an obstacle in his path. The motive is what you want. Your main character needs a motive. The motive gives you places to go and obstacles to put in his way. Now, every character has some type of motive, but the main character's motive is what drives the story along. Every story needs one. Even yours.

So, first we will come up with the premise. Go ahead, create one. I'll give you time. Don't be afraid.

For my example, I shall use the idea of "A man who wants a nice quiet date." This does not describe the actual story, just a plot point that will be followed throughout the whole story and give the main character a motive. What's yours?

Next: plotting the story!


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