Writing a complete story can be quite daunting if you are a newbie that isn’t familiar with the ideal story writing format. As an aspiring writer eager to consistently produce impeccable works of fiction, it is easy for you to get carried away and throw out writing protocol. You will, however, struggle to complete a decent literary piece if you fail to stick to this aptly described format for story writing.
First things first, there is no rule that actually mandates the use of a story writing format when crafting literary works of fiction. In fact, many of the world’s best authors don’t really have a defined process for writing. They simply allow their creativity to take the floor.
This is a bit difficult for writers who have little to no writing experience. If you belong to this category, a story writing format is your best chance of transforming that story idea into an impressive literary piece.
The steps that are briefly explained below are all crucial to the writing process. They must be strictly adhered to if you want to see a positive outcome from your writing endeavor.
Here are the writing steps for all types of stories including novels, novellas, and short stories:
Write out the Story’s Main Plot
Before beginning a story, the first thing you should do is write out the plot of the story. This is very important if you want the quality of the piece to be top-notch. The plot of a story is basically what your story is all about. You should be able to write a brief summation of what the story entails. This helps you during the actual writing process, ensuring that you do not mix up the story or change the direction of the plot.
Outline Your Story
After putting down a brief summary of the story’s plot, the next thing to do is to outline your story. Writing a story outline is necessary if you want to cover the whole plot of the story. During the actual writing process, it is easy for your creativity to take control and swing the story to a completely different direction. A story outline, however, prevents this from happening. With an outline, you basically have a creative map that will lead you from the beginning for your story to its conclusion.
Story Writing Format
A typical story writing format is made up of three vital components. They are:
The first few pages of your story are essential to the reception it gets. Unless you’re already an acclaimed author, most readers will assess the quality of your writing based on the story’s introductory chapters.
Ideally, the beginning of your story should serve as an introduction to its major elements. These elements include the story’s characters or at least the main ones, its primary setting, and of course, the plot.
This means when you start writing your story, the identity of the main character, the location as well as the time/period should all be revealed. You should also set the plot of the story in motion so that readers can have an idea of the story’s essence early on.
You, however, don’t want to be so obvious when introducing the story elements. That can make your writing look amateurish. What you should do is aptly incorporate those introductory components as you begin expanding the story’s plot. This way, you achieve both goals of introducing the story’s elements and kicking off the plot.
While this is the conventional format that is used by most fiction authors, it isn’t a rule so it can be broken to commendable effect. You should be careful about going against conventional literary practices, though, especially if you aren’t a popular author.
After establishing all the story’s vital elements in the beginning, the next writing step to take is to unleash the conflict that defines the story’s entire plot. Conflicts are a crucial part of a literary piece, and if you fail to include them in your story, it will be rightly rejected by your audience.
Conflict is one of the core elements that drive the plot of a story. It is essential for making a story engaging and entertaining. It is basically what makes a story worth telling. Without conflict, the story may as well just be some random diary entry.
The conflict of a story is often built around the story’s main protagonist. He or she is faced with one or numerous challenges that may or may not have a determining effect on the plot. All written works of fiction that have been published have one thing in common; the presence of plot-defining conflict.
It is okay for you start your story right in the middle of its conflict, as long as the introductory component is handled simultaneously.
The last component of a story writing format is its resolution. This is the part where the main conflict that makes up a plot finally gets resolved. In a character-driven story, the resolution can be either the defeat of the antagonist or the surmounting of a challenge by the protagonist.
Every story with conflict always has a resolution. The absence of a resolution is pretty much frowned upon by readers and its occurrence is referred to as a cliff-hanger.
In an ideal story writing format, the resolution of the story comes towards the end of the piece. This is the default practice that is widely accepted. There really isn’t any valid reason to incorporate the resolution anywhere else in the story. That is just plain silly. Then again, writing is indeed an art; and in art, there are no limits.
No matter the type of literature you wish write, whether it is a novel, a novella, a short story, or the less common, novelette, the widely accepted story writing format has three vital components: An introduction or build-up, the conflict, and the resolution.