Writing Your First Story: Where to Start?
The idea of a short story has been buzzing in your head for a long time. And now, you are ready to start writing. Maybe, you are an experienced writer or just a beginner. The chances are that you have been writing texts for years or everything that you have ever composed is a couple of Facebook posts. It doesn’t really matter, because everyone is a storyteller! We experience stories every day of our life, even when nothing unusual happens. The writer’s talent is to present the life experience in an engaging, sincere, and stylish manner! Everything can become your material.
So, if you feel that today is that special day, then let’s discuss some crucial points you should keep in mind when tailoring a story.
Your first draft might be real chaos and its okay
Don’t worry if your first draft looks like a mess. Actually, this is precisely how it goes! You need that mess to find the pearls there. Don’t judge yourself when writing the first one, because it must be rough. You need it to express and rethink your main ideas. The details, polishing, improvement, and everything else will be added later. Perceive your writing as a small seed that turns into a big tree gradually. Are there any reasons to think that a tree can grow without being a tiny seed? And is a seed anyhow worse than a tree?
All of your sentences must have a purpose
A format of a short story suggests that each of your sentences work to develop a plot or reveal characters. Be laconic and don’t write anything meaningless for the plot and character’s description. Even the environment can be described through the hero’s eyes, showing his attitude and inner world.
Make sure that you understand your characters
Short stories usually include one or a couple of characters. When writing one, you must be 100% assured that you know them. Who is your character in the very beginning? What motives does he have? What makes him change and why? How does everything end for him?
Characters must have desires
Short stories don’t require you to write a full biography of every hero. However, they need to have desires. If they are not too high-minded, their ambitions can be simple. For example, one of them wants to sleep. That’s enough to boost the plot: a person, who wants to have a nap and has a great motivation to do so can face all kinds of challenges and failures. The desires and motivations will make your characters do something on purpose.
Don’t sympathize with your characters too much
Don’t be shy to get nasty with your characters. Even if one of them is your alter-ego and you don’t really want to torture him/her. Remember, you need conflict, and a story won’t work if nothing happens. Your readers won’t be interested in a story, where people have fun, hang out, and laugh. Something bad should happen, and this event will launch the entire plot. You will see that the story will start working as a mechanism when you add a conflict. If you know the characters well, they will begin to act themselves. Just make sure that they are alive and well-thought enough.
Don’t include irrelevant elements
If you put anything in a plot without explaining or developing it, you will leave your readers confused and frustrated. Don’t include any details that are not important. Instead, focus on the central elements and think about side details that can serve to improve them.
Make the events move to the central spot
Even if you are a beginning post-modernist writer, you’d better add climax to your story. There should be a moment in a plot that will reveal something striking. This might be a catastrophe, revelation, feelings, sudden change of a character, etc. If you do have an event like this, you will easily keep your readers interested in the plot development. They will continue reading to find out what is going to happen next and how your characters will deal with the situation.
Come back to the beginning when you are done
So you have already written a marvelous story with an exploding climax and genius characters. Now move to the very first line and rethink it. Is it a good start for your story? Does it invite your readers to find out more? Does it make you wonder, what’s the story is going to be about? The opening is crucial and doesn’t be shy to rewrite it.
Give it a while
When the story is already finished, it needs some time to lay inside of your desk. Come back to it in a couple of days and reread it. You will be surprised that some parts will seem ridiculous to you. Never hurry up to publish your works.
And the last advice for you, aspiring writer. When your first story is finished, celebrate it and start writing the next one. Good luck!