What's the best approach when crafting a story?

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Answered by: Derrick, An Expert in the Starting to Write Category
There are many ways for a writer, whether they're a beginner or an expert, to begin crafting a story. These ways are so numerous, they don't exactly work with every single writer because everyone thinks differently. Although, there are some methods everyone can use to help begin the story writing process and avoid blocks. The last thing the writer wants to do is to have a writer's block or write into a corner with no way out.

The first thing every writer should do is come up with a good concept. The best way to approach this would be creating a short, general blurb that describes the world and the story within a single sentence. This sentence will serve as the backbone of the story, and it will be a guide for the writer to make sure they don't lose track of what they're writing about. The worst thing a writer could do is start writing about the adventures of a pair of cats and it suddenly turns into a story about caterpillars who love scrapbooking. That little sentence will keep the writer on the correct path.

Next, the writer should come up with characters. A good story needs good characters. People are far more interested in characters rather than the plot itself. The characters should move the story forward in an organic way that doesn't seem contrived. In order to do this, the writer should come up with the attributes of the character: description, backstory, actions, etc. Even if everything about the character isn't used in the story, it's a great way to understand the character and have them react appropriately to the events in the story. Make sure to do this for every major character in the story as well, not just the protagonist.

Now to create the actual plot and story. This may be different for every writer, but one great way to outline a story is to create the ending first. This may sound weird, but the people who read the story will always remember the ending compared to the middle. Writers need to make a strong impression with the ending to keep the audience thinking about the story even after they're done reading it. Creating a story is not a linear thing, and it's usually hard to write simply from beginning to end without any idea what's ahead. Outlining main plot points of the events beforehand is important, and how the characters react those points is just as important.

So when it comes to crafting a story from beginning to end, it's important to remember the basics. Opening up your favorite word processor and saying, "I'm gonna write that best-selling novel now," will lead into blocks and frustration. Everyone should plan the story ahead of time, and write down the fundamentals before tackling that big obstacle, whether it be a novel or a short story. Of course, every writer is different when it comes to story craft. Learning the basics, however, will lead into a great story and into other fantastic techniques to story crafting.

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